My adventures living on a Caribbean island. Welcome to my monthly, or not so monthly adventures. We try not to commit too soon here on island :-)
First Impression #1:
I already had a part-time job teaching at the University before I moved "on island," so that was one task completed, but I knew I would need a bank account to have my checks direct deposited.
I reviewed the banking situation and found four banks here: Bank of St. Croix, Banco Popular, First Bank, and Scotia Bank.
Shortly after moving to the island, I went to the bank of my choice on a Friday, because I have Fridays off, and I walked in and waited for a representative. I had cash in my pocket and my license from Arizona ready.
When it was my turn, I told the Bank Representative that I was there to open a checking account. She smiled and said she'd be happy to help me. "When would you like to come in to do that?"
I guessed from her expression that "Now" would have been the wrong answer. So I suggested next Friday. Whew! Chalk one up for not making a fool of myself.
Still a little surprised by this turn of events, I made to leave, but she quickly stopped me. She handed me a list of all the documentation I would need to open the account.
Exactly as listed I needed:
- 2 pieces of Valid Identification
- Proof of Mailing Address
- Proof of Physical Address
- Employment Letter or check stub
- Social Security Card
Needless to say, I was taken aback. But I thanked her and left.
The following Friday I returned at my scheduled time with all my documentation and after almost an hour I was the proud owner of a new checking account. I have moved many times, but I have to say that this was the most complicated process for setting up a checking account I have ever encountered. But as I soon learned, that wasn't all.
|Main Street Frederiksted
I used the cash card the Representative gave me often to withdraw money when needed. Three months after opening the account, it stopped working. Unbeknownst to me, it was only a temporary card. I had to go back to the bank in person to obtain my permanent cash card! Luckily, my license and my non-working cash card were enough for me to receive the permanent one :-) Now, I am set with direct deposit into my official checking account and a permanent cash card.
|View from the bank
Lesson #1: Island Life means processes are a little more convoluted and complex than living on the mainland, but I still wouldn't trade the warm temperatures and crystal blue waters for shorter time at the bank.
Uh-ah, no way :-)