It’s not difficult to open a bank account in Bolivia if you have proof of residency, fulfill all other banking requirements, and speak Spanish. What may be more difficult is choosing which bank to benefit with your business and what type of account to open. In addition, you need a clear understanding of the the paperwork you’ll be filling out, interest rates, currency rates and exchange, and other important details.
There are many differences between how Bolivian and foreign banks operate and the services they provide. If you don’t speak Spanish, it can be confusing. That’s why we’ve added this to our list of Expat Services we offer foreigners who are moving to Bolivia, and we highly encourage you to use these services, especially if you do not speak Spanish. Before you continue, please take a moment to inform yourself of all the options for, and complexities of, Banking in Bolivia.
How we help you open an account:
• We’ll discuss with you the type of account you hope to open. We’ll describe the types of bank accounts available in Bolivia, the services local and national banks offer, and the basic requirements and documentation Bolivian banks will ask of you.
• We’ll accompany you to 1-3 banks after we’ve determined what type of account you plan to open and what services you think you’ll need. We’ll assist you by translating any questions you have and their responses until you’ve become fully informed.
• We’ll help you fill out all the required forms and compile all the required documentation once you've chosen a bank. We’ll then accompany you to your bank of choice and help fill out all paperwork necessary to open your account.
• We’ll ensure the bank explains to you clearly which services they provide at their main office and which they provide at branch offices.
• Once your account has been opened, you will be issued an ATM card. When your ATM card is ready to be picked up, we'll accompany you once again to the bank to pick it up and activate it.
• Most ATMs in Bolivia have instructions in both English and Spanish on their screens so using your card should not be difficult after your initial activation.
• We’ll conclude our service by ensuring the bank provides you a list of locations of all their bank branches and automated tellers.
Professional translators in Santa Cruz (myself included) normally charge between $300 and $450 per day in Bolivia, for what is called "accompaniment translating". This is your chance to have an English speaker research and compile information, accompany you to meet with several banks, and assist you with all documentation, for a flat fee of $99. We offer this only through Expat Services. If you’d like more information, please contact me and let me know how my team and I can assist you.