There are many reasons why Latin American individuals and companies want to open an offshore bank account in dollars. Although these offshore accounts sometimes get a bad reputation – because some people use them for tax evasion – a USD bank account is perfectly legal, very convenient and extremely useful for those who want to make transactions or investments in other countries.
Sometimes, the process of opening up a USD savings account – or even worse, a checking account – in one’s own country can be very difficult, even impossible. Bureaucracy, paperwork and delays, even standing legislation, may put many obstacles in front of you. However, thanks to our bank, all our Latin American fellows can obtain their USD account online, quickly and easily, thanks to the Panamanian legislation and our own top-notch customer service.
Why should you open an offshore USD bank account?
- The United States Dollar has a low devaluation rate, while currencies like the Argentinean or Dominican peso lose their value much more rapidly. For this reason, it is a wise move from citizens of those countries to open an online USD savings account, specifically high-interest USD savings accounts or USD fixed terms, in order to protect and grow their savings in a safer currency. Argentina in particular has a long story of savers who prefer dollars rather than pesos, due to the high instability of their local currency. Ever since exchange rates were unlocked in the early 2000s, its value has dropped more than 40 times, 50% of which loss occurred last year. This, in addition to the exchange restrictions implemented during the Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner presidency, moved thousands of Argentineans to open offshore dollar accounts so they could perform their transactions and put away their savings.
- Offshore dollar accounts make international transfers easier. Buying, selling and doing business abroad with an offshore account allows account holders to save in financial expenses and fees. Countries that are highly dependent on international commerce, like Uruguay and Peru, benefit from having a network of offshore accounts in strategic markets.
- Opening an offshore dollar account makes it easier to transfer funds to sons and daughters that are studying or training abroad. Wire transfers or deposits can be performed in USD and the young account holders will collect or manage them through online banking. A savings account for students has significantly lower fees than fund transfer services such as Western Union.
- In some countries, opening an offshore USD account is much easier than doing it domestically. For example, in the case of Colombia, even though USD accounts have been legalized not so long ago, the process is much longer, bureaucratic and difficult than in our bank in Panama, where you can open an account online, quickly and easily. Bancolombia offers the possibility of opening a domestic USD account, but as soon as the client gets started with the process, they are redirected from one desk to the next until they can finally have a meeting with a foreign currency representative. After that, they must submit a long series of documents, including an ID or Foreigner ID, a work certificate with a 3 months validity, an income certificate, a retention certificate and a tax declaration or a non-declarant certification. And this still doesn’t end here, because all these papers must be processed so the online account can be opened. Once the bank has approved the application, the client still must complete the paperwork process – by themselves, mind you – to access the affiliation status. The bank will only provide information on the application process if the applicant registers to the MailPoint service, which is yet another process. If you compare this tedious series of events with the ease provided by Credicorp Bank, the difference becomes immediately evident.
What kind of account do you want to open?
Before you apply for a USD bank account, you must decide whether you will request the opening of a checking account or a savings account. Our bank offers both options, and we will inform you about the features of each one of them so you can make your decision.
- A USD savings account, just as the name suggests, is ideal for savers and investors. You can use it to deposit dollars or save up your salary; even though you can use your debit card to make purchases and perform transactions, you will make better use of your account if you use it as a savings fund. Periodically, you will receive a set interest based on the amount you have deposited, which you can estimate through a savings interest calculator.
- A USD checking account provides better flexibility to manage your funds. Although, unlike a savings account, you will not enjoy an interest rate on your deposits, you will instead have at your disposal more transfer and transaction options, including a checkbook and a credit card.
How to obtain your USD account with our bank
We work every day to make sure you get the best service and advice when you request a USD bank account. The application process has been simplified; it’s quick, and you can do it 100% online. That’s right, you don’t even need to travel all the way to Panama or send any personal representative, and you can download the forms and send over the documents on the Internet. Even more, once your account is online, you can use our digital banking system to review and perform transactions, without ever setting a foot on Panama.
Here’s a brief explanation of the application process for opening a USD bank account from abroad.
1. Apply through our website
When you visit the Products subsection of our website, you will see the Savings Account entry as well as the Checking Account entry. There, you will read in more detail about all the information provided in this article. Once you have decided which type of account you want to apply for, click on the “Apply Now” button and complete the following brief form with your contact information.
2. Send over the requested documentation.
In order to evaluate your application, you will be requested to send over a series of documents. First of all, we will send you a PDF form for you to read, complete, sign and send back to us. Also, we will detail the additional information that we need from you. We will ask for your ID and some sort of income certification, amongst others. You can send this information online without the need to print any paper or coming to our branches.
3. You will have your response.
We will evaluate the information that you have provided and then get in contact with you to discuss your results. In very few cases, we will need to clarify some information or perhaps we’ll detect something in your documents that calls our attention, so we will ask you to come over to our branch to continue our conversation face to face. However, if all documents are in order, we will let you know that your USD account is ready for opening.
When we contact you, we will ask some security questions, and right away your online USD account will be opened. It will be operative within 24 or 48 working hours. We will send you an email with all the information that you need, including account details, and how to perform your first transfer or deposit. Bear in mind the minimum amounts for your initial deposit. These amounts are as follows: for savings accounts, a natural person must deposit $100, and a legal entity, $500; for checking accounts, a natural person must deposit $500 and a legal entity, $1000.
Don’t think anymore, apply now for your USD account
There are many benefits in opening an offshore bank account, and our bank offers the best of the best. You can grow your savings with our high interest rates, as well as our USD fixed terms. Take advantage of the good fiscal environment in Panama and apply today. Read meticulously the descriptions of different account types and choose the one that is more convenient for you. Once you have decided, do not hesitate to get in contact with us. We are at your disposal to answer any questions you may have, and offer you the best offshore bank service.