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Internet Banking Comes To Costa Rica

Mike Godfrey, Tax-news.com, New York

28 December 2000


Internet banking is late in coming to Costa Rica but has now arrived courtesy of Interfin Bank's Inter Banca site which offers online request forms, general information, and corporate and personal banking services via the Internet, as well as other providers including Credomatic and Banco Nacional.

Interfin Bank's Inter Banca site allows registered users to buy or sell dollars online, check account balances on credit and debit cards, wire money, pay bills and transfer funds, among other services. Aside from a $35 charge on international money transfers, all Inter Banca services are free to registered users. Some services require special software, but it can be downloaded for free from Inter Banca’s site.

Milena Moreira, chief of Internet banking at Interfin, commented: 'We want to offer our clients a speedy and safe service, but we like to remind users that our service depends on RACSA connections'.

A wealth of information can also be had through the Credomatic site at www.credomatic.com. It offers a user-friendly graphical interface that allows clients to log on to any of the countries where Credomatic has a branch. The service also lets users check balances, make money transfers, and apply for credit via the Internet. All services require online registration.

Also in the Internet banking race is the Banco Nacional, with Servibanca BN Personal Internet, which aims to give customers free access to all banking services provided in a regular high-street bank. Servibanca BN Personal Internet director, Mario Arguedas, said: 'We expect to launch Servibanca BN Personal Internet on January 15 2001. Every time one of our customers logs on to our site, it is like having a tiny branch at someone’s home.'

Currently Banco Nacional has a business Internet banking service called BN Corporate Internet, which allows businesses to transfer money, make payments, and stop payments. However, the service works only through an extranet and costs $20 a month.

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