It covers payment methods and information on, banking systems, foreign exchange controls, and U.S. and correspondent banking.
Methods of Payment
Cash is the most commonly used form of payment in Haiti; debit cards and credit cards are accepted by established businesses. Besides banknotes and coins, the national payment system includes four other payment methods: checks, the Haitian Interbank Payment System (SPIH), bank cards, and payment via mobile phones. Two banking institutions, Unibank and SOGEBANK, operate ATM machines. The SPIH is used by businesses, as well as individuals, to process transactions in real time between commercial bank accounts through the Haitian Central Bank (BRH). This type of funds transfer is secure and allows for gross real-time settlements with very low transaction fees. SPIH is widely preferred by Haitian businesspersons due to its traceability and safety.
The Haitian Central Bank announced that starting October 1, 2020, the ATM systems of major banking institutions such as Unibank, SOGEBANK, Capital Bank, cooperatives like Kotelam in the West Department and Koples in the Northwest Department are interconnected for debit card holders who bank with those institutions. Debit card holders can make withdrawals from any ATM bearing the “PRONAP” logo, which indicates interoperability.
For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide available at https://www.trade.gov/trade-finance-guide-quick-reference-us-exporters.
Residents as well as foreigners can hold bank accounts in Haiti in local currency as well as in USD. Accounts can be opened immediately at no additional fee to the minimum required deposit.
The required documents to open an individual bank account include:
- Valid identity card or passport
- Resident Permit
- Proof of address (rent receipt, electricity bill, accommodation contract)
- A minimum of HTG 2,500
- A completed application form
Required documents to open a bank account as a legal entity/company include:
- A completed application form
- Company bylaws
- Copy of the edition of the national gazette, “Le Moniteur,”in which company was announced as registered
- Proof of company address
- Minutes of the last General Assembly electing, amending, or renewing the Board of Directors
- Valid license to operate and Tax Identification number of Company
- An initial deposit of 25,000 HTG (around $223 as of June 2022) if account is opened in local currency
- An initial deposit of USD 2,500 if account opened in US currency
- For each signatory on the account: two valid pieces of identification are required
- Proof of address for each signatory on account
Foreign Exchange Controls
The government of Haiti does not impose restrictions on the inflow or outflow of capital. The Law of 1989 governs international transfer operations and remittances. Remittances are Haiti’s primary source of foreign currency and were equivalent to approximately one quarter of GDP in 2020.
There are no restrictions or controls on foreign payments or other fund transfer transactions. While restrictions apply on the amount of money that may be withdrawn per transaction, there is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that residents may hold in bank accounts, and there is no ceiling on the amount residents may transfer abroad.
The Haitian gourde (HTG) is convertible for commercial and capital transactions. Banks and currency exchange companies set their rates at the market-clearing rate. The BRH publishes a daily reference rate, which is a weighted average of exchange rates offered in the formal and informal exchange markets. The market determines the exchange rate for the HTG. The difference between buying and selling rates is generally less than five percent. The gourde experienced a 11.2 percent depreciation in 2021, in contrast with an appreciation of nearly 28 percent during calendar year 2020, shaking confidence of export-oriented investors with its lack of predictability and wide fluctuation.
The Government of Haiti has expressed an intention to put in place stricter measures to monitor money transfers in accordance with Haiti’s efforts to deter illicit cash flows, as mandated by the 2013 Anti-Money Laundering Act and the expected implementation of an agreement on the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
U.S. Banks & Local Correspondent Banks
Citibank is the only U.S. bank in Haiti and primarily serves corporate accounts. There are no local correspondent banks.
Further details on financing in Botswana can be found at the 2022 Botswana Investment Climate Statement.