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Wiring Money In To and Out Of Panama Banks

Don’t believe everything you read on the internet or hear on the radio or TV.  Some companies are reporting that you can no longer wire money from the United States in to or out of banks in Panama.  This is simply not true!  I know you can send and receive wire transfers because my tour clients and I wire money every month with no problems.  Our wires are at a variety of different banks. And none of us have ever had a problem.

Wires sent before noon usually arrive the same day.  Wires sent after noon usually arrive within 24 hours.   You can do most wire transfers using online banking.

Many expats have their Social Security checks or pensions automatically wired directly in to their Panama bank account.  The money shows up like clockwork.

Rest assured that you can wire money from banks or credit unions in the United States, or other countries, in to banks in Panama.  And you can wire money from banks in Panama to banks in the United States in other countries.   You can also get access to cash at ATM machines which are throughout Panama.

SAVE MONEY!  Do This Instead…

If you live in Panama, you can deposit a check from a United States bank or credit union directly in to your bank in Panama.  Most Panama banks have a check limit of $3,000 per month and it will take 5-7 business days to clear.  There is “no fee” if you deposit a check in to your account.   If you have two Panama bank accounts, that means that can can deposit $3,000 in each bank, or $6,000 a month! Once you establish a good relationship with the bank, they will allow you to deposit checks for even more.

 

 

 

Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Latitude Adjustment: Two Wanderers in Panama says

    Great info! Thanks!

    • Jackie Lange says

      Glad you enjoy the information at PanamaRelocationTours.com

  2. Ancon says

    It seems to matter the size of the transfer. Recently I had a problem with a transfer from the U.S. to Panama for the purpose of buying land. The amount was over $100k. One official said that under about $100k, no problem but over yes. We eventually got the transfer through but it took 2 weeks. The bank was banco general

    • Jackie Lange says

      I’ve never had a problem wire transferring money to Panama. It usually arrives within 24 hours. I’m sure it depends on which bank you are with and if you have a residency Visa or not.

    • Cynthia Lee says

      I also bank with Banco General. They are strict but if you have all your proof then it’s just a matter of proving things to them. It can be a pain because it’s so much easier in the states but that just makes me feel more secure having my money there. I’ve wired money plenty of times and it’s been available immediately the next morning but the one time I wired over $100K to purchase a condo they held the money and requested information on where it came from. I quickly supplied the info required and the money was quickly available. No big deal just a little paperwork. Also, I wanted to save money on wire transfers also and took Jackie’s advice and just deposited a check but there was a fee of $21 and it took 3 weeks to clear. Banco General clearly told me that before I even deposited it. It was still cheaper than a wire but there was still a cost. But overall I have no complaints about banking in Panamá it’s safe and secure and the interest is even better there. I’m alewife convinced and have made Panama my second home. 🇵🇦

      • Jackie Lange says

        Banco General does not have online banking in English and Spanish. It is only Spanish. They do not charge a fee for check deposits at the branch in Boquete.

  3. Trish says

    Thanks for all the very useful info Jackie. I’m looking forward to Panama so much. Banistmo has been recommended to me in Volcan as the easiest to open an account but I can’t get any English on their website. Am I missing something or lacking fluency should I chose a different bank?

    • Jackie Lange says

      HI Trish

      To get English on the Banistmo website, first click on Sucursal Virtual at the top. On the next screen/page, you will see a little ENGLISH link at the top right. Click that to convert the page to English. Unfortunately, the English option is not on their home page.

  4. Jim says

    Can you simply set up automatic deposit of a pension or social security check into a Panama bank? Are you charged a fee for that?

    • Jackie Lange says

      Yes, you can set up automatic deposits of your Social Security and Pension checks. Most banks do not charge for this service and there is no limit to the amount deposited monthly if you do this.

      • Terrance Newton says

        I just started a new job and plan to go on the June 15, 2019 tour. Can you open up a bank now before arriving in Panama? If yes, can you recommend one or two banks?

        • Jackie Lange says

          HI Terrence

          I look forward to meeting you during the June tour. You cannot open a bank account without being IN Panama. It normally takes 3-5 days to open a bank account in Panama but with our connections, you will be able to get your account opened during the tour in about 1 hour. See you in June! Jackie

  5. crist says

    is there any limitations in depositing money in panama and doesnt covered by anti money laundering

    • Jackie Lange says

      There are no limits to wiring money or depositing money in to a Panama bank but they may ask where the money came from.

  6. Alicia says

    Do you have to pay a tax to wire funds out of Panama? I was told that you will get tax around 7% so if I want to transfer $10,000 from Panama to the US there will be a $700 tax withheld in addition to bank fees. Is this correct? Thanks in advance.

    • Jackie Lange says

      HI Alicia, there is NO TAX on the money you wire out of Panama. There is a wire fee which is about $50-$60.

      • chalo says

        Hi Jackie. I have seen the 7% tax on all pages that I looked at regarding this topic (including Banco General). Even western union mentions the 7% tax: https://www.westernunion.com/pa/en/send-money.html

        Could you specify where you found an option to send money to the US with just a $50-60 fee?.

        • Jackie Lange says

          I wire money from a US bank to a Panama bank every month. There is a flat fee of $50.

          I don’t use Western Union.

          • Gonzalo de la Vega says

            Hi Jackie – the issue is sending money out of Panama (not into). I haven’t found a way to do that without the 7% tax.

          • Jackie Lange says

            There is NO 7% tax if you wire money from a Panama bank to a bank outside of Panama.

  7. M says

    Trying to make a transfer my self to that bank. How did you do it?

    • Jackie Lange says

      Most banks in Panama publishes their international wiring instructions online. Either take those instructions in to the bank in your country to get them to do the international wire or use the instructions to do an online international wire transfer. If you are IN Panama, you can deposit a check from a US bank in to your account in Panama.

      • Dr Michael Elinski says

        Can a personal check of $1500 on a USA account be used to open a new a Panama checking account? Or is cas preferred to open the account. I’m hoping to open my bank account around my tour time of May 22-29. Should I use a lawyer for assistance, or do you offer guidance on opening bank accounts?

        • Dr Michael Elinski says

          I just saw above that with your help, opening a bank account takes about an hour! That’s great. Would I need cash, or is a US personal check acceptable?

          • Dustin Lange says

            You need cash.

        • Dustin Lange says

          Opening a bank account is a (completely optional) part of our tour itinerary. Checks are not accepted when opening an account. You must deposit at least $1,500 in cash. More info.

  8. InJa says

    Hi Jackie, Happy Valentine Day to you and all there!! My husband Bill & I, we’re waiting list on Sep & Oct. of this year tour.. Hope one of these will come up for us, if not.. we’ll book for next year! whenever we take a tour, we’ll make sure that, will have check ready, for opening our bank account. We hope that, we’ll fine the place around Boquete area to retire. Thank you for all your advice and help! o(^-^)o ..Blessing to you all! Fondly,♥ InJa

    • Jackie Lange says

      HI InJa, we’ll be be adding more tours soon.

  9. Dr Michael Elinski says

    FYI : I usually wire funds around the world using XE.com. They take 5 business days to transfer funds, on average, but there is no transfer fee. They are reliable, located in Canada, transfer from and to anywhere, and charge NO TRANSFER FEES. I highly recommend them and I’ve never had a problem. Their currency conversion rates, if applicable, are fair.

    • Jackie Lange says

      I don’t believe you can wire money in to Panama using XE

  10. W Greg Veilleux says

    Hi, great site! Do you know if they will accept checks written on a Canadian bank, or would a cashiers check in US funds be better?

    • Jackie Lange says

      They only accept checks from US banks to deposit into your Panama bank account. . Panama banks do not accept cashier’s checks.

  11. Alan Wells says

    Thanks for all your work to help people “work the system” in Panama. I wonder if I can write a check to a counter party in Panama which she could deposit in her Banco General account?

    • Jackie Lange says

      Yes, you can write a US check to a third part for them to deposit in to their Panama bank account.

  12. James Coleman says

    Wife and I are Panama Pensionados, own and rent property their. Your site does not address sending USD to US other than the ABA SWIFT system of wire transfer normally used for larger amounts of money. What about the difficulty of sending under $10,000 to US, like $1,000-$2,000 for example Since Bank Regulations became stricter, wire transfer charges by sending bank, NYC Intermediary and Receiving Bank costs are high. Please address other forms of Usd transfer to get lesser $ out of Panama, ie., ACH, alternate $ Transfer Services, Debit to Debit Card transfers, and Debit to Bank Account transfers. We have found many alternatives to send USD to Panama…large or small amounts. ACH, Transfer services
    are not yet US serving! Internet Money Transfer like P2P has questionable Security. Please describe more efficient money transfer for under $5,000. Paypal/Xoom, Venmo, etc. not an option at this time.
    In future Transferwise will finally serve Panama but when is the question. Friends and Family transfer options also do not work for Panama. Please let us know current methods of transfering smaller Usd transers to the USA. Thanks Much James

    • Jackie Lange says

      HI James. You can wire money from Panama to a US bank with no problems

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