The Banco do Brasil (BB) has just inaugurated a service to make the lives
of Brazilians living overseas easier. They will be able to transfer funds
from wherever they live to Brazil, simply by using the Internet. Caixa Econômica
Federal, Brazil's Federal Savings Bank had started a similar program last
All Brazilians living
overseas need to do is to go to the BB's electronic site _ www.bancodobrasil.com.br
- and click on the Banco do Brasil Expresso page, according to the bank's
International Director, Augusto Braúna, who informed that, beginning
July 6, the service will be available to the more than two million Brazilians
who live outside of Brazil.
According to Braúna,
any Brazilian who lives abroad and has a foreign Visa credit card can make
deposits in checking or savings accounts in Brazil, up to a daily limit of
US$ 9.8 thousand (30 thousand reais).
The Banco do Brasil Expresso
will allow credit card holders to charge their cards, up to their credit limit,
to transfer funds to their Brazilian checking or savings accounts, for a fee
equivalent to 2.58 percent of the value of the transfer, says the Executive
Manager of Cards, Douglas Macedo. The money, he added, will be available in
two business days, which is the time set by the Visa international network
to complete transactions.
"This will surely
facilitate the lives of nearly 300 thousand Japanese-Brazilians who earn their
living in Japan," Macedo observes.
According to Braúna,
the dekasseguisJapanese descendents who work in Japanhave
registered savings of approximately US$ 1.5 billion in Japan and remitted
around US$ 800 million to Brazil last year.
The presence of Japanese-Brazilians
in Japan's major cities is so powerful that 8 of the BB's 20 foreign branches
are located in Japan, and the bank also has an agreement with the Japanese
postal agency to maintain 25,000 service posts throughout the archipelago,
equivalent to the bank correspondents that operate in Brazil.
According to the director,
it is likely that the BB will open three more branches in Japan this year,
to meet the large demand by Brazilian and Peruvian Japanese descendents, 110
thousand of whom are BB customers, to open new accounts. A clientele that
will soon also be able to count on insurance, capitalization, and social security
services via internet, Braúna revealed.
He pointed out the BB's
activities are also significant in the United States, home to more than half
the Brazilians who have emigrated. Their remittances to Brazil each year are
the equivalent of the dekasseguis.
The presence of the BB
is also strong in Europe, according to Braúna, especially in Portugal,
where the bank has six branches and intends to inaugurate another one, in
the city of Cascais, in the next few days.
He recognizes, however,
that the availability of the new service is not expected to have an immediate
impact in terms of increasing the bank's acquisition and consequent incorporation
"The big impact will
be in our relationship with customers, who will be able to count on a secure
service with facility for them to carry out transactions at their convenience.
The returns will depend upon the propagation," he concluded.
Stenio Ribeiro works for Agência Brasil (AB), the official press agency
of the Brazilian government. Comments are welcome at email@example.com.
from the Portuguese by David Silberstein.