October 18th, 2018
Banks are open between 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m., Monday to Friday.
To open an account, obtain a credit card or credit, you will need a CPF number (see Legal Documents). Banks may appear inflexible and unhelpful regarding this requirement but it is against the law to open an account without a CPF number and they face significant penalties if they do so.
Until you have a local account, you can use Travellers’ Checks. In some cases, you can cash checks from your home bank using an American Express (or, less commonly, a Diners’ Club) card as a guarantee. Most travel agencies and hotels will change money for you: the official rate for the day is available at 11.00 a.m. which they generally prefer to wait for.
You can obtain cash advances against an international Visa or MasterCard if you have a PIN. Automatic teller machines at HSBC, Banco do Brasíl, Bradesco and Unibanco will accept your card.
Some newcomers to Brasíl find the level of physical security at banks off-putting. Armed guards are a Federal requirement and many banks have adopted revolving doors equipped with metal detectors. The deterrent associated with these measures is, however, very effective and, in Curitiba, armed robberies are very rare.
Caution should be exercised when using ATM machines at night: no banks in Brasíl use the “through-the-wall” arrangement seen in other countries and all have secure access facilities. You should ensure that the selected outlet is well lit and avoid lingering outside the lobby when you have completed your transaction. In addition, avoid contact in the ATM lobbies with strangers offering assistance (no matter how plausible or well dressed they are).
If you are American, there are American credit cards without the International Exchange Fee. Chapter One Bank offers such cards as does CitiBank.