Wait. What? Now that just boggles my brain. Of course there are stupid questions! Case in point to your above. However, this morning whilst doing my morning scroll a friend and neighbor just down the beach in San Carlos posted “Is anyone headed out today that could drop off a phone card to my gardener's daughter?” If you do not live here in Panama or have not visited us yet you can buy phone cards just about anywhere. These are “scratch off cards with codes” that add the dollar amount purchased to the account (phone number) in order to add minutes and or data to a cellular phone.
This is not the first time that I have come to realize that many of my coastal family, friends, and neighbors do not realize that Panama has seriously stepped up it’s game! When I relocated to Panama in 2012, standing in line to pay your electric bill in Coronado at the Rey (grocery store) or at the local utility office was your only option.
Fun Panama Fact - your electric bill is hand delivered to your condo and slid underneath the door or delivered to your home, as there is no mail service since we have no addresses! (Yes, you read that right.) Therefore, buying phone scratch offs, standing in line at the bank to pay your property taxes, etc. was THE only option available and it could take most of the day (very, very painful!).
Fast Forward to now, if you have a Panamanian Bank account you can pretty much pay anything sitting in your underwear with just a quick tickle of the keyboard keys! In addition to utilities, and phone bills, other financial transactions include:
● Taxes (DGI)
● Credit Cards
● PanaPass & Metro
● School Tuitions
● International Wire Transfers
The list goes on and on! Add your banking app to your phone and reap the benefit of paying for lunch or dinner via an ACH transfer on the spot! Most all restaurants will allow you to ACH transfer which saves them money (no credit card fees) and you the hassle of a credit card bill or ATM visit with all those pesky bank fees. Easy Peasy!
Now you have more time to enjoy your oceanfront condo, home in the mountains, and everything in between. You’re welcome!
Don’t have a local Panama bank account? No worries! There are online options for many utilities. PTYCARDS is another great app even though it has a small fee (.99/month) that allows you to pay your bills from your cell phone or tablet.
What is your favorite bill pay app in Panama? Need some guidance on how to put this convenient tool in your “tool box”? Send me an email and I will send you the instructions or walk you through it over the phone! firstname.lastname@example.org.