Bank services in Sao Paulo

Tools:

The currency in Brazil is the Real, or Reais in Portuguese. In September 2010 the exchange rate was about 1.70 Reals to the US Dollar.

Brazilian banks operate Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm.

In order to open a bank account in Brazil several documents are required. First of all you’ll need:

  1. a CPF number – a tax identification number similar to the UK National Insurance number;
  2. you’ll also have to present a valid ID card as well as a proof of address, such as a utility bill.

Obtaining a CPF number will require you to visit to a branch of either the Banco de Brasil or Caixa, pay a small administration fee and fill out some forms. Eventually you will be asked to visit the local tax office (Receita Federal) before the number can be issued. You do not need to be a permanent resident of Brazil in order to get a CPF number although it makes the process easier.

The major banks in Sao Paulo are:

Currency

Brazil's currency is the real, often written R$. One real is made up of 100 centavos. Banknotes come in many different colors with different animal featured on each. There's a green one-real note (hummingbird), a blue two (hawksbill turtle), a violet five (egret), a scarlet 10 (macaw), a yellow twenty (lion-faced monkey), a golden-brown 50 (jaguar) and a blue 100 (grouper fish).

Exchange

If you have some cash or traveller's checks to exchange, most banks or exchange offices casas de câmbio are able to complete this transaction. Banks tend to be have slower, more bureaucratic procedures, but better exchange rates (except for Banco do Brasil which charges R$40 commission for every traveller's check transaction). Cash and traveler's checks should be either in US dollars or euros for easy exchange. Amex is the most easily recognized traveller's check.

    To move all of your money from abroad, there are several different ways:
  • Wire Transfer : This is a simple and quick method to send funds either online or through a local agent, but does have higher fees.
  • Rechargeable Prepaid Debit Card : This method takes a few days if ordering within Brazil, but there are usually no credit checks and the fees are low.
  • Bank Transfers: The most straightforward way to transfer money, this requires the banks to work together and may take up to 5 business days.

Debit/ Credit Cards

Debit and credit cards can be used for most purchases and to make cash withdrawals from ATMs and banks. Visa is the most widely accepted card, followed by MasterCard. Amex and Diners Club cards are also useful.

Credit card fraud is extremely common in Brazil. Keep your card in sight at all times, especially in restaurants.

Update 13/12/2010


Tools:

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest WhatsApp Addthis

Recommended Partners

Keep more of your money when transferring funds overseas!

Fexco_logo

If you want to move money abroad, from Brazil or to Brazil for example, Fexco provides efficient and secure global bank to bank transfers and bespoke payment solutions for both business and personal clients.

Why Fexco

Fexco provides a secure international money transfer service online or by telephone with bank beating fx rates and low fees. Specialises in high-value transfers.

Faster, cheaper, safer International money transfers.
Dedicated fx dealer who will oversee your transfer from start to finish
Make payments from anywhere with our secure online platform, PayDirect.
If you prefer the personal touch, then our payments team can be contacted by phone.

Main characteristics

Fexco will help you to keep your overseas money transfer costs to a minimum.

Margin 0.6%
Regulator FCA
Fee £10 < £5K or Free > £5k
Mini £1K
Ccy All (130 currencies, incl ‘exotics’)
Services Repatriation of funds, Property, Regular payments, High Value payments, spot, online, telephone.

Get an online quote today

When you are ready to make your transfer, John and his team will be available to help you with better rates and an unrivalled service to make sure your funds are delivered securely and speedily.



Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.


Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

Go to the Forum to talk more about bank services in Sao Paulo, practical life.