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Getting Settled before Arriving

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JasonKnaub37
(@JasonKnaub37)
Active Member

Okay St. Croix
Another round of questions that hopefully you can help me with
1.PO box - Can I get one before arriving or is there a company that will let me procure one before getting on island
2. Shipping boxes - goes back to my first question. Would like to start shipping boxes that wont fit in the container but I have no PO yet to ship to.
3. Is there a company on island that will accept by packages for a fee and then I can go get them once I'm on island?
4. Can I start a bank account before I get on island and start to transfer money or do I have to wait until I get on island?

Please let me know ST. Croix

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Topic starter Posted : February 13, 2014 12:13 am
Rowdy802
(@Rowdy802)
Trusted Member

I can recommend Mailboxes & More... (340) 719-5131... Ask for Mr. Henry, the owner... talk to him to see if he may be able to help you... I've been a customer for 6 years now and they have received for me 4 tires for my car, a transmission, etc...

It is unlikely a bank will open a bank account unless you show them two forms of residence.. i.e. a lease agreement, wapa bill, phone bill, CATV bill, etc... the same may apply with mailboxes, but Mr. Henry make an effort in trying to give the customer a hand... but I must admit I am not 100% sure with the banks..

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Posted : February 13, 2014 12:37 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

even if you dont have a box there, they will take shipments for you for a fee

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Posted : February 13, 2014 5:46 pm
bathiel
(@bathiel)
Trusted Member

I can recommend Mailboxes & More... (340) 719-5131... Ask for Mr. Henry, the owner... talk to him to see if he may be able to help you... I've been a customer for 6 years now and they have received for me 4 tires for my car, a transmission, etc...

It is unlikely a bank will open a bank account unless you show them two forms of residence.. i.e. a lease agreement, wapa bill, phone bill, CATV bill, etc... the same may apply with mailboxes, but Mr. Henry make an effort in trying to give the customer a hand... but I must admit I am not 100% sure with the banks..

I opened both a bank account and an account at Mailboxes as a part-time resident with no local address or ID. They were both fine with my itinerant snowbird status (at least they were in 2009). Even so, it's doubtful a bank would let you open an account over the phone.

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Posted : February 13, 2014 7:59 pm
Rowdy802
(@Rowdy802)
Trusted Member

I opened both a bank account and an account at Mailboxes as a part-time resident with no local address or ID. They were both fine with my itinerant snowbird status (at least they were in 2009). Even so, it's doubtful a bank would let you open an account over the phone.

Ok... that is good info. for the OP... The bank is a bit more difficult... At the end of 2012 I tried to do it with Scotiabank and they asked for an ID, a lease agreement, an a utility bill... and, of course, you have to be present...

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Posted : February 13, 2014 8:49 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

If he has purchased the house and closed on it he has a deed and an address, probably a WAPA bill.

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Posted : February 13, 2014 8:52 pm
Rowdy802
(@Rowdy802)
Trusted Member

If he has purchased the house and closed on it he has a deed and an address, probably a WAPA bill.

I am assuming that but, my experience with Scotibank is that you have to be present... I can open a new account with Bank of America online, then I have to go to a branch to show all the papers and sign... So he will not be able to do until he touches STX, whereas he posted he wanted to do this beforehand... well, here are the numbers I could muster...

Scotiabank: (340) 778-5350
First Bank: (340)719-8686
Bank of St. Croix: (340) 773-8500
Banco Popular: (340) 693-2935

To the OP (I am sure he knows but...), keep in mind the fact that Atlantic Time for the Caribbean does not have Daylight Savings Time... STX is one hour ahead of Eastern Time...

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Posted : February 13, 2014 9:10 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

It's a requirement of the Patriot Act that a bank verify your identity - the bank is on the hook to do so to prevent money laundering. While the Act doesn't specifically say that the bank must verify your ID in person, there's really no way to verify your ID vs. your photo and identity without doing so in person, hence the requirement that you must come in person with your ID and other paperwork to complete the opening of your new account.

Found this article which gives a good summation:

http://www.1stcommercialcredit.com/blog/category/business-tips/how-does-the-patriot-act-affect-my-bank/

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Posted : February 13, 2014 9:14 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Trusted Member

I have 3 accounts with Discover Bank, entirely on line.

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Posted : February 13, 2014 9:20 pm
Rowdy802
(@Rowdy802)
Trusted Member

Thanks JulieKay for taking the time... I couldn't get to it... too busy taking care of this refinery...

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Posted : February 13, 2014 9:22 pm
Rowdy802
(@Rowdy802)
Trusted Member

I have 3 accounts with Discover Bank, entirely on line.

Stateside Institution... But the OP can call and double check...

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Posted : February 13, 2014 9:24 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

You're welcome!

And CruzanIron, again it's not a requirement of the Act to appear in person, but it is what most banks require to fulfill the requirement that they verify identity according to the act.

Here's some more info:

How does the bank verify my identity without documents?

The Agencies give several examples of what a bank can do to verify identifying information when one does not appear in person. Suggested methods include:

Contacting the customer after the account is opened.
Obtaining a financial statement, for example from a corporate customer.
Comparing the identifying information provided by the customer against fraud and bad-check databases.
Comparing identifying information with a trusted third party source such as a consumer reporting agency.
Checking references with other financial institutions.

I imagine Discover has quite a bit of access to such things. Also I only looked at their page briefly but it appears they only have savings products, no checking accounts.

From here: https://www.privacyrights.org/customer-identification-programs-financial-transactions

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Posted : February 13, 2014 9:31 pm
JasonKnaub37
(@JasonKnaub37)
Active Member

Thanks so much for all the helpful info

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Topic starter Posted : February 13, 2014 10:41 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Trusted Member

Julie: Discover Money Market Account - Access funds by check, debit card, or online.

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Posted : February 14, 2014 10:25 am
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Yep, refer back to my post above. 😉

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Posted : February 14, 2014 11:21 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Trusted Member

Julie, a money markey account is the same as a checking account. I can write checks.

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Posted : February 14, 2014 11:23 am
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Did you not read the whole paragraph about alternative methods of verification and how Discover probably has access to resources for such things?

Also Discover is hurting for business and probably is more willing to take risks. Since the onus is on the bank, most of them are not doing so (opening accounts without verifying identity in person).

And we could argue Money Market vs. Checking accounts (for example - federal limits on the number of checks you can write each month) but that is not the point. If you want to understand why most banks will not open accounts without seeing you in person, refer to the Patriot Act. I didn't write it, just explaining the provisions so people understand it isn't that the banks are just big meanies.

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Posted : February 14, 2014 11:29 am
crlannen
(@crlannen)
New Member

I know this is a little late, but I'd keep my stateside bank accounts. Checks just take longer to clear, and before I had my iPhone I could literally mail checks back to the states and have them clear faster than depositing them locally. So I closed the local accounts.

Now with my iPhone I can deposit checks into my stateside account and have the money in my account the next day.

Chris

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Posted : November 29, 2014 2:45 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Even though you plan to open a local bank account, keep your stateside bank account(s)! I'm really glad I did.

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Posted : December 1, 2014 3:30 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

Why are you glad you kept your stateside account? Interest rates are so low that the higher interest you may get stateside may be wiped out by the fee you pay to file that tax form if you pay someone to do your forms.

I have a stateside check that a STT biz gave me for services rendered. Well, I want a local check so now that it's season I'm going to ask that he replace with local check. I want checks I can immediately cash instead of depositing. That's the best way of determining if the check is currently negotiable instead of depositing and incurring fees if the check is insufficient.

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Posted : December 1, 2014 4:12 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

have both. stateside for normal stuff local for local stuff-it really is that easy

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Posted : December 1, 2014 8:48 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

This is an old thread from months ago.

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Posted : December 1, 2014 9:04 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Here's another reason to keep your stateside banks. The banking and insurance laws in the VI are very outdated and have not kept pace with the technological and regulatory changes that have taken place in the banking industry elsewhere.

Just look at the massive scale of fraud that has taken place here over the past few months. I'll bet everyone reading this personally been affected or knows several people who have been affected.

Look at the line ups in the few bank branches that remain here. The internet banking and bank machine infrastructure is not well developed here. You pretty much have to go into a branch and wait in line to complete even the most basic transactions.

A few weeks ago, I was able to secure a $35 K loan from my stateside bank OVER THE PHONE without having been physically in that bank for over 15 years. I went to three banks here first...Banco Popular = over an hour wait to see a loan officer so I just walked away, FirstBank = sorry we only lend up to $15 K, ScotiaBank = by far the worst, hours waiting in line, I just gave up. I made one call to my friendly bank manager in the states and the next day HIS ASSISTANT CALLED ME to complete the application OVER THE PHONE. Documents were sent by courier to signatures.

Banking and insurance in the VI is a farce and not a secure place to keep your money.

One should only use cash or cards that offer 100% fraud protection as the security of financial institutions here are very porous and criminals around the world have discovered how easy it is to hack VI banks.

Beware.

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Posted : December 2, 2014 12:23 pm
JD on STT
(@jd_on_stt)
Advanced Member

Do yourselves a favor and stay where you are. You have no idea what you're getting yourselves into.

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Posted : December 2, 2014 10:13 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Do yourselves a favor and stay where you are. You have no idea what you're getting yourselves into.

This is the second post you've made in the same vein today.

Hundreds of people make their way to the USVI every year and thus it has always been. Some stay for a few weeks or months, some stay for a few years and a very few stay forever. For some, island living simply doesn't work, isn't a good fit and the reasons are varied.

Many in the latter group leave with a good feeling about having tried. A few leave with bitterness, blaming everything and everybody for the perceived "failure" and spend sometimes years in the future telling anybody who'll listen either in person or on various internet forums what a crappy place the islands are, how crime and corruption and injustice run rampant and how nobody in their right mind should think about moving to such a ghastly place.

I hope you won't waste time being one of those, John.

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Posted : December 2, 2014 11:50 pm
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