A Scary Thing Happens During Emergencies: One Way Belizeans Can Better Prepare
My fellow Belizeans, I am sure you will agree, that during a disaster, man-made or natural, many of us depend on assistance from our families and friends in the Belizean Diaspora.
An unfortunate fact of life in Belize, is that we will always be open to and will always have tropical storms and hurricanes hitting us from time to time.
Tropical Storm Franklin gave us all quite a scare, especially since just last year on August 4th, Hurricane Earl tore through Belize, even causing destruction in Belmopan the Capital City, which was built and completed in 1970 for the very specific reason of not being near the coast during a hurricane hit.
Earl caused tremendous physical destruction and economic loss of approximately 100 million dollars, but fortunately did not cause any casualties in Belize.
Something that I notice every time a storm hits, is that many Belizeans are caught financially unprepared.
A major contributing factor to this reality is due to our high poverty rate and very low per hour wage ($1.65US per hour), which leaves more than 80% of Belizeans living from paycheck to paycheck and simply do not have much disposable income to save up for such circumstances.
Therefore, many Belizeans depend on their families and friends in the Belizean Diaspora to assist, financially.
Unfortunately, getting money to Belize, even a few hundred bucks via Western Union and Wire Transfers, has become quite cumbersome and expensive.
There Is Good News
It turns out that it is quite easy for Belizeans at home to sign-up for a Payoneer account, which basically gives them a United States bank account, connected to a MasterCard Debit Card.
Your families and friends can easily send you money, which becomes immediately accessible.
The card can be used as easy as a standard credit/debit card at any business in Belize that has a POS machine, and you can get access to cash at any ATM machine in Belize.
I prefer to use Atlantic Bank’s ATM, since they charge a smaller processing fee (note: that may change in the future. Keep in touch with your preferred bank).
Fellow Belizeans in the diaspora, this service can allow you to quickly, and with very little hassle, assist your loved ones back home.
Getting money to them, during a hurricane threat for example, could be the difference between life and death in some instances, and could be the difference between them having at least the basic necessities to weather out the storm, or having to go and beg some area representative.
Signing Up: The Essentials
Once you log into the website, you will be walked through the sign-up process.
Important information to have on hand:
Your driver’s license, passport or Social Security number.
Your local bank account # and Swift number.
Once you successfully complete the short sign-up process on their website, a MasterCard Debit Card will be mailed to you.
Once you receive this card, you simply log into your Payoneer account, enter the digits on the card, enter your preferred 4 digit PIN, and the card is activated.
You can start receiving money immediately.
To sign-up for your FREE Payoneer account, please follow this link: https://goo.gl/fYoDVZ
This service is also great for small business owners, such as tour guides and operators who want an easy way to receive deposits and payments from their clients.