Brazilian Challenge Day 32: ATM Payment

Today, I paid my daughter’s school bill at the ATM. I did.

Here in Brazil, the system for payments is a bit different. In the U.S., for something like school tuition, you would simply hand in or mail in a check. But for some reason, it doesn’t really work that way. The school gives you a stack of bills and every month you must go out of your way to pay each.

I spent a bit of time bitching about having to go to the bank, stand in line to get money, and then go to the receiving bank and stand in line to pay. Or hand my poor husband a stack of bills and make him do it (or so I thought). What he forgot to tell me, but what fellow Brazil bloggers and readers did (see comments in Payments Predicament), was that you can pay at the ATM. There is actually a bar code on most bills which you simply scan at the ATM and it takes it out of your account – if you pay on time. If you don’t, you have to go through the process I described above.

I tried it and it worked… magically. Thanks to those who provided the advice. You save me quite a bit of time.


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14 Responses to Brazilian Challenge Day 32: ATM Payment

  1. Nice! You can usually also pay online if you have a bank that does that.

  2. Andrew says:

    You should also try setting it up for automatic payments. It’s been a while (so it might be simpler these days) but I think you go to your branch and ask them if you can put your school bill on “Debito Automatico”. You should be able to do that for most bills but some are funny and won’t allow it (the bill, not the bank). Actually, root around your internet banking first. There’s probably a way to do it through there or, at least, better instructions. Anyway, you either get to pick which day of the month the bill is paid or the bank just pays it on the due date as long as your account has funds.

  3. Eri says:

    Se o seu boleto tem código de barra, o jeito mais simples é pagar pelo banco online ou por telefone, mesmo que o boleto seja de um banco diferente.
    Se você nunca acessou o banco online, você precisa ir ao caixa eletronico e cadastrar uma senha, depois disso fica tudo muito mais simples.


  4. Way to go!
    One reads alot of expat whining online – woe is meism of the foreign kind I like to call it – but few actually go out there, face their fears, learn how to deal with stuff and make their lives less complicated. You did.
    I hope you don’t become too acclimated though, so repeat after me: I will never hang out with Val, I will not hang out with Val. . .

  5. Meredith says:

    Good for you! And easy too it seems.

    My husband pays our bills at the loterica. If the line is long then it sucks, but if you can go during an off peak time then it’s pretty simple.

  6. Jenner says:

    You can schedule the payments at the ATM. You don’t need to pay them one at a time when they are due. Plan in advance, gather a pile of bills and schedule the payments using the bar codes at the ATM. Or better, you can put most of them in the automatic payment system, called débito automático. This way, the bank automatically withdraws the money from your account and pay them when they’re due. The remaining bills can be paid through your bank’s website. No need to use ATMs if you have a bank account…

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