Federal Reserve Financial Services is committed to providing the answers and information you need. Answers to many of our customers most frequently asked questions can be found using the links below.
If your question is not answered by the information provided on the site, My FedDirectory® provides a comprehensive list of service and support contacts who can assist you.
Q: What is the relationship between Directo a México and the Federal Reserve Banks' FedGlobal Mexico Service?
A: The Directo a México marketing program was introduced in Fall 2005 to help U.S. financial institutions create awareness for and facilitate use of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) channel to remit funds to Mexico. Specifically, its goal is to encourage use of the Federal Reserve Banks' FedGlobal Mexico Service. The Directo a México marketing materials are provided to all U.S. financial institutions that subscribe to the FedGlobal Mexico Service.
A: Directo a México helps U.S. financial institutions capture a larger part of the rapidly growing U.S. to Mexico remittance market. The program also supports customers by providing a secure, fast, low-cost and convenient money transfer product for financial institutions to offer to their customers. The service that supports Directo a México, FedGlobal Mexico Service, is priced so that U.S. financial institutions can offer it at extremely competitive rates. The service is offered to financial institutions for a low per-item surcharge.
The wholesale foreign exchange rate applied to every payment – regardless of amount – means that the receiver gets more pesos for every dollar sent. Additionally, the funds are available in the receiving account in Mexico on the next banking day.
A: Promotional Tool Kit – Customizable, Spanish-language electronic templates for a brochure, poster, lobby/tent card, statement insert, foreign exchange information sheet and text for a 30-second radio spot.
Customer Guide – Information and ideas regarding remittance to Mexico along with help determining local market potential.
A: The Directo a México Customer Guide provides the following:
A: The FedGlobal Mexico Service is offered as part of the Federal Reserve Banks' suite of FedACH® services. Depository financial institutions in the U.S. originate cross-border transactions via FedACH in U.S. dollars. Payments are transferred from FedACH to the Banco de México, the Mexican gateway operator, where they are distributed via the local payments system. Payments are posted to the receiver's account in pesos on the next banking day – with every payment receiving a wholesale foreign exchange rate regardless of amount.
A: ACH stands for Automated Clearing House. The ACH network is a highly reliable and efficient nationwide batch-oriented electronic funds transfer system governed by the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) ACH Operating Rules and Guidelines, which provide for the interbank clearing of electronic payments for participating depository financial institutions. The Federal Reserve Banks are the nation's largest ACH operator and provide central clearing facilities through which financial institutions transmit or receive ACH entries.
ACH payments include:
A: ACH is an extremely, low-cost payments channel and is already in place in almost every financial institution in the U.S. Thus, there are no set-up costs for most financial institutions that choose to offer the program. ACH also uses standardized formats, which make it possible for the payments to be channeled to Mexico in an automated fashion and delivered electronically to bank accounts there. The efficiencies of ACH make it possible to offer this service to financial institutions at a low, per-item surcharge.
A: Money transfers, or remittances, are person-to-person payments generally to family members living in an individual's country of origin. Remittances are a large and growing global phenomenon. However, several important characteristics of the U.S. to Mexico remittance market make it an attractive business consideration for financial institutions. The amount of funds transferred into Mexico is the second largest in the world – only India receives more remittance funds. It is notable that almost all remittances to Mexico originate in one country – the U.S. – and are growing at a very fast annual rate.
A: The Web site is an innovative new tool to provide access to formal financial services and low-cost delivery of transfers from the United States. It allows a U.S. financial institution to pre-open an account for a third-party transfer receiver in Mexico at any Bansefi branch throughout Mexico. Of course, the receiver must go to the branch with identification to formalize the account but he or she now has a great incentive to get an account – the funds transferred through Directo a México (FedGlobal Mexico Service) will be waiting at the branch and the highly competitive foreign exchange rate used means the beneficiary gets more pesos for every U.S. dollar sent. FAQs for Consumers are also available in English & Spanish
A: It's open to all U.S. depository financial institutions (USDFIs) that are enrolled in Directo a México. The financial institution needs to sign a data confidentiality agreement with Bansefi and can then receive as many log-on IDs and passwords as needed.
A: The financial institution representative enters the BAR Web site with ID and password. A series of drop-down menus guide the representative to enter the information for the third-party beneficiary who will be formalizing the bank account in Mexico. Once the information is entered, the Web site will generate a CLABE number (the Mexican bank account number). The USDFI will then be able to tell their customer – and give them the Wallet Card containing all the information – everything that needs to be shared with the Mexican beneficiary. Using the Wallet Card, your customer can call the receiver in Mexico and share the new CLABE number, the location of the Mexican bank branch where the bank account should be formalized – which is where the money will be waiting.
A: The beneficiary in Mexico has up to 10 Mexican banking days to formalize the account, that is, to go to the Bansefi branch with an official identification to open the account. If the beneficiary does not formalize the account within this time frame, the account will be closed and the funds will be returned to the originating U.S. financial institution and its customer.
A: Currently, the Web site can pre-open an account at any of the more than 500 Bansefi branches. Bansefi is also developing an interface that will allow credit unions which are members of L@Red de la Gente to be accessed on the Web site. Each of the more than 100 credit unions will individually decide whether they want to participate on the Web site.
Q: What are the features of the new account in Mexico?
A: The "Cuenta con Tu Gente" (Account with Your People) is an entry level savings account. There are no fees to open the account or to access funds at the branch. The minimum initial deposit is 50 pesos (approximately U.S. $5) and the minimum balance is 50 pesos. We suggest that you send an amount that the beneficiary can withdraw while maintaining the minimum balance.
A: It is recommended that the USDFI send a payment to the new account on the same day, in order to encourage the third-party beneficiary to go to the branch and formalize the account. We encourage the customer to send at least U.S. $50 so that the beneficiary can keep at least 50 pesos in the account and be able to withdraw enough more for their own use. Of course, if the beneficiary does not formalize the account within 10 Mexican banking days, the funds will be transferred back to the USDFI for posting to the originating customer's account.
A: The beneficiary should bring two types of identification to establish identity and confirmation of address. These include an official ID such as Passport, Matrícula Consular (Consular Identification Card), or Credencial de Elector (Voter Card). Address confirmation can be from a utility or rental bill.
A: The BAR Web site has an option to view "Status of Accounts". This link will allow you to enter the generated CLABE number to view if the account has been formalized or not. If the account has already been formalized, then you know that it is ready to receive additional Directo a México transfers whenever your customer requests.
A: Yes, funds deposited at Bansefi are protected by the Mexican government. Funds within L@Red e la Gente are insured by the Fondo de Protección (similar to deposit insurance in the U.S.), which protects the savings up to 10,000 UDIs depending on the level of operation of the credit union. The value of an UDI (Unidad de Inversión) changes over time with inflation, as of this date, is was 3.83 UDIs per peso. Of course, the Fondo de Protección is considered a last resort because the enhancements to Mexico's prudential regulation made over the past decade are designed to identify deficiencies before larger problems can develop.
A: Bansefi does not charge the USDFI or the new account holders for using the BAR Web site.
A: Contact Bansefi for further information or to get the agreement to use the Web site at: email@example.com
A: Bansefi is the National Savings & Financial Services Bank (Bansefi, in Spanish). The former national savings institute (Patronato del Ahorro Nacional, or PAHNAL) was transformed into Bansefi in April 2001 to continue promoting savings in the popular sector. It has over 500 branches throughout Mexico and is dedicated to offering financial services to low income individuals that don't have access to a commercial bank. In particular, it seeks to promote bank usage by migrants and their families so they can have access to other financial services and the accompanying benefits. In addition, bank usage puts lower cost transfer opportunities like Directo a México within reach.
A: There are two steps to pre-open an account. First, ask your bank or credit union in the U.S. about Directo a México and the Beneficiary Account Registration (BAR) service–then ask to pre-open an account at Bansefi. Second, provide information about the beneficiary (either a family member or another individual in Mexico) to the bank or credit union representative and communicate to the beneficiary about formalizing the account. The account can be opened at any of the more than 500 Bansefi branches in Mexico.
A: The beneficiary should go to the Bansefi branch in Mexico where the account was pre-opened to formalize it so they can withdraw their money.
A: The account is pre-opened in the U.S.; nevertheless, it is not active until the account owner signs the contract, shows an official ID and proof of address, and only then can the funds be withdrawn. The money is deposited in the account but it is blocked until the account is formalized. When the account is pre-opened in the U.S., you will be given a wallet card that has the CLABE number (the Mexican bank account number) and the information about the branch where the account is located, so that you can communicate this information to the beneficiary. It's important to note that the beneficiary only has 10 Mexican banking days to formalize the account; otherwise the money will be sent back to the person who transferred the funds.
A: The account is called "Cuenta con Tu Gente" (Account with your People). Not only can it help establish a credit history but it also has several benefits:
A: You can make a transfer at the same time you pre-open the account. It is recommended that you send a payment to the new account on the same day so the beneficiary can formalize the account on the next day. The money will be waiting in the account for the beneficiary, and once formalized, you can send as many transfers as you like to the new CLABE.
A: Any limits are set by the bank or credit union which originated the transfer. "Cuenta con Tu Gente" requires a minimum balance of 50 pesos, therefore we suggest that you send an amount that the beneficiary can withdraw while maintaining the minimum balance.
A: The beneficiary has up to 10 Mexican banking days to formalize the account or the money will be returned and deposited to the account of the person in the U.S. who originated the transfer.
A: Bansefi does not charge commissions to open the account or to receive transfers.
A: No, only banks or credit unions authorized by Bansefi and that participate in Directo a México can pre-open an account.
A: No, you cannot pre-open a bank account in Mexico for yourself on the Web site because you are not in Mexico to formalize it. However, the next time you go to Mexico to visit your family, you can open a account and get your CLABE number. Once back in the U.S., you can send as many transfers to that account that you want using Directo a México.
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