One certain thing is that Colombia has its own way of paying bills.
When you travel to another country, one of the most important things you should have in consideration is how to pay your bills and how the banking system works there.
There are only very few companies that allow online payments here. In fact, there is still a lack of trust regarding the online systems in the country. Moreover, Colombians are simply not used to this, they tend to be more traditional regarding payments. Indeed, they prefer going directly to the bank or to the entity involved in the payments.
We get that for people used to the ease of online payments and transfers, changing your payment method isn’t comfortable. That’s why VICO made you a list of the best ways to pay your bills in Colombia.
Payment Methods to pay your bills in Colombia
Cash is the most conventional way of payment. In Colombia, the currency is the Colombian peso. At this time (April 2019), a dollar is equivalent to 3,149 Colombian pesos. So now you have an idea of how much you can spend living in the country of coffee. However, we advise you to check these values from time to time since they often vary due to the fluctuation of the dollar.
Consigning money is one ways of sending money to another person or company.
But what is a consignment? First, it consists in depositing a certain amount of money in the bank. Then, another person, the one you chose, can claim that money in another place of the city or the country.
The consignment step by step:
- Go to a bank.
- Ask a bank worker to tell you where the consignment forms are.
- Give the information they ask for. It is usually the identity card to whom you wish to make the consignment and his/her account number.
- Come to one of the modules with the form and the money you wish to consign.
- When all the process is done, the person who help you will give you a receipt of payment of your accounts.
Here you can send money from one account to another. However, a transfer is not the most recommended for you since they can charge you large sums of money. Indeed, your money comes from an international accounts so they get to ask for high fees and exchange rate. Anyways, everything depends on the money you want to transfer. But to pay your bills in Colombia, you will hardly ever find someone willing to make it through an online payment.
In some countries, the payment of public transportation can be done online. Here though, it is still not possible to do so. On the other hand, Medellín developed one of the best integrated transport system of Latin America. It allows to travel with a single card, the Civica, that you can recharge in different points. You can use all the transportation means that work with the metro of the city.
Did you know that in Medellín, money has a lot of different designations?
You will hear expressions like: Las lukas, fox, billullo, plata, marmaja.
If you want to learn more Colombian lexicon you can check our guide for the paisa vocabulary. VICO prepared a list of words that would be good for you to learn so that your communication with the paisa can be more flowing. And once your are comfortable enough with that first list, you might want to get even more paisa with our second paisa vocabulary list.
From VICO, we want to promote the #NoSoyTurista campaign. The aim is to avoid paying high prices for the only reason that you are not from the country. Indeed, some locals often intend to charge you more for something that actually has a lower price. So you should always pay close attention to prices and, if you do not know, it is better to have a Colombian friend that confirms the local fares. Of course, you can also ask us, we are always more than happy to help!