› Financial Services

Cuenca Banking and Financial Services
Credit Cards, Insurance and Investments

Many people ask us about Cuenca banking and financial services. They want to know if the banks are safe, if they can use their credit cards here, and many other questions.

This section of Captivating Cuenca answers those questions with pages about how banking works in Ecuador, the banks you'll find here, some of Cuenca's credit unions, credit cards, and the various types of insurance available here.

We'll be adding links on this page as each page is researched and built.

Ecuador Financial Information

Learn about Ecuador's economy and other financial information.

Learn how to get money into Ecuador (and out again).

Banks in Cuenca

There are several banks here in Cuenca. Some are national banks, others are regional, and some are sub-regional.

  • Banco Pichincha, Ecuador's largest bank
  • Banco de Guayaquil, a national bank based in Guayaquil
  • Banco Bolivariano, another national bank, named after a famous hero of Ecuador
  • Banco del Austro, the "Bank of the South"
  • ProduBanco

The rest of the banks are very small. We think you're best off using one of the ones listed above.

Credit Unions

In Ecuador, credit unions are called cooperativas de ahorro y crédito (saving and credit cooperatives). The indigenous use these more than they use the banks.

In general, the credit unions will offer higher interest rates to their members, but they could also have some higher risks, since their client base is much smaller (thousands of people instead of hundreds of thousands or millions).

  • JEP—Juventud Ecuatoriana Progresista
  • Coopera (please note: Coopera has been shut down by financial regulators, but feel free to read about what it had to offer Cuencanos)
  • Coopac-Austro

The rest of the credit unions are tiny. Stick with one of the bigger ones for more stability and more services.

Credit Cards

Four credit cards are used here. Some are more popular than others.

Car, Home and Health Insurance

SOAT car insurance is mandatory, and very minimal. We recommend that you obtain supplemental car insurance.

Home insurance in Cuenca isn't cheap. Check our info here to determine if it's worth it for you.

Medical costs are very inexpensive here in Ecuador. But if you plan on traveling a lot, or want to plan for emergencies, health insurance is a wise investment, especially if you're going to the United States.


Be sure to read all the Cuenca banking and financial services information that applies to you. It will help you decide which bank or credit union is right for you, and whether you need any of the various types of insurance available here in Cuenca.

When it comes to your finances in Cuenca, it's definitely best to be educated and well prepared.

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I just want to thank you both soooo much for creating this web site. I am originally from Cuenca but moved to New York 11 years ago and have not being back since. My husband and I are planning on visiting Cuenca over the Summer and this web site has helped me a lot.

When I came to the US we still had the "sucre," the bus ride cost 1,000 sucres and a pack of trident gum would cost 3,000 sucres. I am very nervous to go back, but thanks to your web site I now know what to expect.

My husband is American and Captivating Cuenca has taught him a lot about what my great city has to offer, things that I had forgotten about myself! :)

Thank You both so much! I cannot wait to visit Cuenca!!

Sofia Hoffman