Online Banking in Belize

For Online Banking you need two things: to be online & online banking access with your bank. Once you have your internet access setup, online banking is usually a matter of surfing to your bank’s online banking website and logging in using your username, password and (often) a unique code generated by a security device.

On this site we will discuss two distinct situations where online banking has benefits to you. The first situation is when you are managing funds in a Belizean bank account but live outside of the country. The second situation is when you are managing funds in a non-Belizean bank account and live inside of the country. In both cases, we recommend you do online banking and so make your life much easier. 
A prerequisite for online banking is a reliable internet connection. For our recommendations for internet access in Belize you may read our article on Internet Access in Belize. We refer you to that article for internet access questions and we will focus on online banking and online banks in this article only. 

Setting up Belizean online banking tips

In Belize there are two groups of banks that you can choose, but only one group when you live in Belize itself. Both offer online banking services to their customers. These two groups are national banks and international banks. The national banks are used by people who live within Belize for checking and saving accounts. The international banks offer (often wealthy) foreign individuals and corporations attractive tax opportunities provided they are a non-Belize resident. 

Belize BankBelize Bank offers Belize Bank Online to their customers. It is their online banking solution that allows their customers to manage their chequing, savings, credit card, mortgage, loans and investment accounts online from anywhere they have an internet connection. 
Scotia Bank also offers online banking services: scotia online banking (scotia bank online banking), and you can even view a demo on their scotia online banking system to check out their services before signing up. They claim the following benefits for their scotia online banking system: viewing account balances and history, paying credit cards, transfering funds, setting up payments, pay bills, etc. You can do online banking with scotia bank with a minimum of hassle.

International bank accounts and online banking

You can choose to maintain or setup an account in a non-Belizean Dollar account. Belize national banks do not offer this, even though the Belize international banks do. Not putting all your money in Belizean Dollars is probably a good idea, as it is cheap to buy Belizean Dollars, but prohibitively expensive to sell them again. It helps to have access to US Dollar funds (for example) from within Belize and transfer the funds using your US Dollar account’s online banking services. 

Setting up non-Belizean online banking tips

If you are an expat and planning on living in Belize, we strongly recommend that you get a bank account in other currencies as well (including, possibly, keeping your bank account in your current home country), using an online bank of your choice. There are a few selection criteria you must keep in mind when choosing such online banking bank. 
Not all banks offer online banking, and their solution for online banking may not always work reliably abroad. If your bank does not offer online banking, you will need to change banks to one that does. You can check their website to see if they offer online banking, but even so, do check to ensure that your bank’s online system is available when abroad. If you have the opportunity, do online banking when on holiday abroad to see if you have access. Some banks have been known to block access to their online banking system from abroad out of security concerns. Others have procedures that require you to have a bank-issued mobile telephone that may or may not have global roaming. We recommend that you contact your bank for additional information and explicitly ask whether their online banking solution will be operational from within Belize. It is better to avoid surprises. 
To summarize, you can choose to do your online banking with any bank of choice. It’s your choice. But there are some guidelines such as ensuring that your bank has an online banking portal, that there are no limitations to using it abroad.