Direct Deposit of Social Security to Mexican Banks – Article

Jan. 2, 2016
This article delves into the details of the good systems worked out by the US Social Security Administration and Mexican banks, for Americans who’ve retired to Mexico.

Online SSA general information for over-seas direct deposits:   and

Click to access EN-05-10137.pdf

For Americans in Mexico:
The Federal Benefits Unit (FBU), located at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City (and also at the US Consulates in Guadalajara and Ciudad Juarez), provides services to Social Security, Veterans Affairs, Office of Personnel Management and railroad pension beneficiaries throughout Mexico. For details, see:
U.S. Embassy Mexico Federal Benefits information.

mexico map of US FBU service zones

US Federal Benefits Units Map of Mexico

The U.S. Embassy system has three Federal Benefit Unit locations in Mexico: the U.S. Embassy Mexico City (servicing all states in red ~ like YUCATAN), the U.S. Consulate General Guadalajara (servicing states in white), and the U.S. Consulate General Ciudad Juarez (servicing states in green).

The Federal Benefits Unit operates on an appointment-only system. Use the FBU online form to schedule an appointment or to obtain information. The FBUs try to respond to e-mail inquiries within 3 working days. As a part of their Mission holiday schedule they are closed the last working day of the month for administrative duties.

E-mail Addresses:

U.S. Embassy Mexico City:

U.S. Consulate Guadalajara:

U.S. Consulate Ciudad Juarez:

FBU Services:

Since we are in the Red Zone, we can email them at or call 01-55 1102 6300 between 8:30-1:00pm (Mexico City time). The U.S. Social Security Administration website also has more details.

Individuals requiring FBU-related assistance in Merida should make an appointment. Click here for more information on How to Make an Appointment at the US Consulate General Merida.

The US Consulate arranges for the deposit of Social Security benefits directly to Mexican bank accounts. They require
~ a local Mexican address
~ the CLABE** of your Mexican bank account and
~ a picture ID.

So, we contact Social Security and set up the direct deposit account just as you would for a US bank, which requires having an existing Mexican bank account and the correct routing (and CLABE) numbers.

**Clave Bancaria Estandarizada, (CLABE) is Spanish for “standardized banking cipher” that IDs bank accounts in Mexico. The CLABE account code has 18 digits.

Past gringo internet reports say they’ve been happy with Scotiabank, Bancomer, and Banamex’s direct deposit services.

How it works:
Your funds are issued by the US Treasury and sent to Banco de Mexico and then to your Mexican bank account. Because of this, the system is fairly quick (usually by the 3’rd business day of the month), and we get very favorable exchange rates.

Example: Some January 2016 SSI deposits (Banamex) have arrived on Jan. 1, by 2 pm. with an exchange rate of $17.22 MXN pesos per $1 USD … while other January 2016 deposits (Bancomer) came in on Dec. 31, 2015.

Deposits (wire transfers) usually show-up online mid-afternoon.

Once we’ve successfully competed our application with SSI / FBU, the deposits begin showing up the next month after switching banks.

Based on a 1971 “Totalization Agreement” between the USA-Mexico, we do NOT file Mexican taxes on this income.

For more details, see:

* * * *
Feel free to copy with proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .

31 Responses to Direct Deposit of Social Security to Mexican Banks – Article

  1. Pingback: Direct Deposit of Social Security to Mexican Banks | Surviving Yucatan

  2. For over a decade, my SS was deposited to Banamex USA. Then FATCA came along in 2014, and Banamex USA dumped me, and many others, like a hot potato. For that same decade, I had another account at Banamex in Mexico. But I was so irked at the hot-potato experience that I abandoned Banamex in Mexico. No love lost. I opened an account at HSBC Mexico. Having my SS routed there was easy. Contrary to what the article says, no picture ID was required. Someone phoned me from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City after I had emailed them, and I quickly was switched. I just had to confirm some details about myself and cite the clabe interbancaria. The very next payment landed in my account at HSBC Mexico. A few months later I opened an account at Bancomer. I went through the easy process again via phone. No photo ID required. I now maintain accounts in the two banks. FYI: Bancomer is the superior place to bank. I consider two Mexican banks a minimum just in case some local foolishness squirrels one of them, you still have the other. And it’s easy to switch money from one to the other via their websites.

    • robert anderson says:

      how did you get the 6 digit routing no. for hsbc mx.

      • Robert, I have since switched entirely from HSBC, which turned out to be a nightmare bank in Mexico, to BBVA Bancomer, which is vastly superior. I canceled the HSBC account. To have your SS deposited to a Mexican bank, it’s not the usual routing number one uses in the U.S., but something called the clabe interbancario, a number specific to your Mexican account, that you need. You can get that from your Mexican bank. it’s quite probably printed on your contract. That’s what the SS agency in the U.S. Embassy will ask you for. It’s a piece of cake. Buena suerte.

  3. Steve C. says:

    “A few months later I opened an account at Bancomer. I went through the easy process again via phone.” Did you need to use the U.S. Embassy to open the Bancomer account?

    • Steve: Oh, no, I just went to the bank to open the account. When I said I went through the easy process again via phone, I was referring to switching my SS direct deposit from the HSBC Mexico account to the new Bancomer account.

      • Carlos V says:

        felipe u think can i go with process with bancomer account with the embassy and can i keep address in usa ? or i have to provide address in mexico have u ever received those questionaires they send every year or 2? since mail is not good in mexico to make sure i receive those questionaires thanks

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Steve,
      We use the Embassy’s FBU services to set up the direct deposit from SSA on the US govt. side.

      We open our individual Mexican bank accounts on our own.

  4. Steve C. says:

    Here in El Salvador, I believe there are only two banks that are authorized by the embassy here to receive funds through this DD program. So an individual using one of those banks, that decides he prefers the other, well, I think that you’d need the assistance of the local embassy to accomplish it.

    Or maybe it’s like you have in Mexico, where one could go to the other bank, explain the preference to use this new, other bank, and they would handle the whole process.

  5. wa61105 says:

    Thoughts on the benefits of having your SSN payments deposited directly to a Mexican Bank versus and intermediate US Bank? Will I get hit on bank fees similar to when I transfer funds from US Bank to my Mexican bank? Am I even eligible to do this? The SSN publication “Your Payments while you are outside the United States” ( shows Mexico as one of the countries where I am able to do this, but qualifies it by stating “If you are a citizen of one of the countries listed below…” . I don’t plan to become a Mexican citizen. Can I still do this as a US Citizen and resident of Mexico (with permanent address)?
    Thanks! W.A.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi W.A.,
      General reports from Americans residing in Mexico do not describe fees for SSI deposits into their Mexican accounts at the major banks listed above.

    • Neither HSBC where I initially had my SS payments sent nor Bancomer where they now are sent charge me.

      • Ray Peyton says:

        I have my SSA deposit going to a US bank and want to switch to my Banamex acc. MT ACCOUNT ask for a nine digit number and BMX has a eighteen digit acc number. Do I have to go through the FBU to make the change?

  6. wa61105 says:

    Thanks Yucalandia. I assume I don’t need to be a citizen of Mexico to be able to do this?

  7. wa61105 says:

    Thanks for that clarification. The SSA publication is misleading with their statement “.. citizen of one of the countries below…”.

  8. Rick Rezac says:

    Hey everybody, new member from so cal, living in Thai, but moving soon(this summer).
    I have direct dep here thru Bangkok Bank, is it possible to transfer to Bancomer bank once I open an account and let the Bangkok bank know about all this? If Not, what docs will I actuallt need to set this up?
    thank for any info or links to download the docs


  9. Rick Rezac says:

    ok, I emailed Bancomer and will talk with y bank here, see if maybe they can do the transfer or whatever is required, thx a lot, if anyone else has info, feel free. BTW, was told Bancomer is probably the best bank to use(money transfers to Calif, Ebay purchase, etc.), is this the consensus?

    • Your Thai bank has nothing to do with this. Actually, neither does Bancomer. You have to contact SS (I did it at their office in the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, but there are other options), give them an identification number known as the clabe interbancario, which Bancomer will provide you when you open an account with them. The person you speak to at SS will ask a few additional question to verify your identity. That’s it. All done via the phone. Shortly, the SS payment will land in your Bancomer account. Bancomer is a great bank in Mexico, by the way. Highly recommended.

  10. Rick Rezac says:

    cool, yeah it was easy here also, was just hoping there was some faster , simpler way, hey do you guys get an atm card, here we don’t, have to do manual transfers

  11. Henry J Munoz says:

    Does anyone get Pension payments in addition to Social Security payments ?

    • Henry, I do. But I had to raise Holy Hell to get it done. I’ve heard from some people who say their pension providers won’t send the money to foreign banks. My corporate pension comes from the Hearst Corp., and some arm of Wells Fargo Bank handles the distribution. I lost my sole U.S. bank account due to the damnable FATCA law, and I was not able to open another U.S. account due to not having a U.S. address or driver’s license. So I was essentially being hung out to dry by Wells Fargo when underlings repeatedly told me the only options were direct deposits to U.S. banks or mailing a check. Of course, sending a check through Mexican mail is generally a bad idea, and if it’s in one of those window envelopes that make it obvious, you can just kiss the money goodbye.

      Getting nowhere with Wells Fargo grunts, I express mailed a letter to the CEO of Wells Fargo in San Francisco. I found his name and address online. That did the trick quickly. I am now the sole Wells Fargo pension recipient out of the U.S. and have become good internet pals with the woman in charge of Wells Fargo’s pension distribution department.

      Any financial organization can direct deposit to Mexican banks. Many simply never have done it, and do not have it set up. They are stuck in their ways. A wonderful service called Directoamexico (Google it) is used by hundreds of U.S. financial organizations to wire money easily and swiftly to Mexican bank accounts. It’s what the Social Security Administration uses to send SS payments.

      Hope this was helpful.

  12. Gloria F Hildebrand says:

    If I don’t have an account in a Mexican bank but my son does can I still do a direct deposit? In Monterey Mexico

    • The receiving account has to have your name on it, alas.

      • Jose Garcia says:

        Hello Felipe I have a question if you could help me out (My daughter is US Citizen & was getting social security disability benefits SSI Check in Texas I’m here payee holder since she’s only 8year old now we live in Mexico do to my immigration status I was receiving direct deposit in my wells Fargo checkin account until my devit card was stolen my bank told me i had to appear in person to get my situation fix like i mentioned before impossible for me since I’m in Mexico & have no legal documents to cross to US so my account was closed I been struggling since then) I read your comments & that gave me hope to ask you my question do you think I can open a Bancomer account & get my daughter’s direct deposit there? Who do I contact to give that information of my Mexico home address & Mexican account ? I will appreciate your help and support GOD Bless you

      • Hi, Jose. I only today was notified of your question. Sorry for the delay. I have a different name, my real name, on this comment system now, but it’s still me. I don’t know the answer to your question, but if it’s similar to receiving a normal Social Security payment, maybe the answer is yes. It’s a good idea to phone the Social Security office at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, and ask them. The number is 555-080-2852. And you don’t need an account at BBVA specifically. About any Mexican bank will do. Buena suerte. Michael/Felipe

    • yucalandia says:

      When we recently set up direct deposit to my bank account and to my wife’s account, the SSA-Form 1199-México includes a section for the co-holder of joint accounts to fill out to approve the auto-deposit of SSA retirement benefits check to a Mexican bank.

      This is a little twist off of Felipe Zapata;’s comment that the account must have your name on it.

      Are you a joint account holder on your son’s account?

  13. Pingback: Mexico Daily Post

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