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Are ALL Thai banks now able to receive Direct Deposit of USA Social Security payments?


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Here's a very interesting chart showing the number of SS recipients in each country and how they receive their benefits. (Before looking, you might want to guess how many are in Thailand, and how that compares to, say, the Philippines. It's actually an intriguing measure of where Americans retire overseas, though not perfect since not all SS recipients are retired U.S. citizens.)

 

https://www.ssa.gov/deposit/GIS/data/Reports/ALLCTRYWEB.htm

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On 1/13/2020 at 5:51 PM, Pib said:

Two methods/payment systems now exist....a person can use either one.

 

1.  Your SS payment is paid via the ACH funds transfer system which uses ACH/ABA routing number such as the Bangkok Bank New York Branch routing number of 026008691 and then relayed to your in-Thailand Bangkok Bank restriction direct deposit account.  By restricted I mean you must physically visit a branch to withdraw/transfer money, no debit card, acct can only be in your name.  This payment method has been around for decades.

 

2.  Your SS payment is paid via IDD which uses the SWIFT system/codes.  This payment can go to any Thai bank, a regular Thai bank sayings acct with no restrictions, can have debit card, can be a single or joint owned acct.   IDD for Thailand went operational in mid 2019.

 

In re to the IDD payment method:

1.  What is the basis for the currency conversion rate the SSA uses to determine the baht amount the SSA is depositing into a Thai bank?

2. While the SSA may not be applying a fee to send your benefit to your Thai bank, aren't Thai banks assessing a fee to receive the deposit?  My experience with Bangkok Bank in the past when transferring money from my US bank to Bangkok Bank via SWIFT, a fee was assessed by Bangkok Bank- and no, this had nothing to do with the NY branch at that time...

 

Anybody using the IDD method have insight?

 

 

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2 hours ago, jeffandgop said:

In re to the IDD payment method:

1.  What is the basis for the currency conversion rate the SSA uses to determine the baht amount the SSA is depositing into a Thai bank?

2. While the SSA may not be applying a fee to send your benefit to your Thai bank, aren't Thai banks assessing a fee to receive the deposit?  My experience with Bangkok Bank in the past when transferring money from my US bank to Bangkok Bank via SWIFT, a fee was assessed by Bangkok Bank- and no, this had nothing to do with the NY branch at that time...

 

Anybody using the IDD method have insight?

 

 

Review the link given in post #22 of this thread....extensive IDD info and your questions answered in that post link. 

 

But to give you some semi-short answers, the currency rate used for IDD is determined by the US Treasury or a contractor bank the US Treasury uses for the IDD payment...the rate is determined several business days before the actual payment date.  The IDD rate used is not published anywhere but can be easily calculated by knowing how many USD "net" (i.e., after taxes, Medicare Part B, or other deductions) you are paid along with review of a Thai bank credit advice or the Thai bank SMS notice of the payment like how Bangkok Bank provides a free SMS notice of international transfers if you are signed up for their free SMS Remittance Alert.  

 

The only IDD fee is the Thai bank "Bahtnet" receiving fee which is typically Bt100 but could be higher if your acct is at an upcountry Thai bank (i.e., outside the metro Bangkok region). 

 

As with the Thai bank "ACH" receiving fee of 0.25% (Bt200 min, Bt500 max) which is "not" reflected on your passbook or ibanking but is reflected in a credit advice or SMS notice, the Bahtnet receiving fee is also "not" reflected on your passbook or ibanking but is reflected in a credit advice or SMS notice. 

 

And here's some updated info to the link given in post #22 regarding IDD use, exchange rate, fees, etc.  The below chart shows info for the 3 Feb payment via IDD or ACH along with an "eight month" average of payment via IDD or ACH.   I have a family member receiving SSA pension via IDD since Jul 2019 so I've been tracking payment data like exchange rate, fees, etc.  But see the link in post #22 for more info.

 

 

image.png.26e09d8a5e7543128dc6d14c27d79d4d.png

 

 

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, Pib said:

Review the link given in post #22 of this thread....extensive IDD info and your questions answered in that post link. 

 

But to give you some semi-short answers, the currency rate used for IDD is determined by the US Treasury or a contractor bank the US Treasury uses for the IDD payment...the rate is determined several business days before the actual payment date.  The IDD rate used is not published anywhere but can be easily calculated by knowing how many USD "net" (i.e., after taxes, Medicare Part B, or other deductions) you are paid along with review of a Thai bank credit advice or the Thai bank SMS notice of the payment like how Bangkok Bank provides a free SMS notice of international transfers if you are signed up for their free SMS Remittance Alert.  

 

The only IDD fee is the Thai bank "Bahtnet" receiving fee which is typically Bt100 but could be higher if your acct is at an upcountry Thai bank (i.e., outside the metro Bangkok region). 

 

As with the Thai bank "ACH" receiving fee of 0.25% (Bt200 min, Bt500 max) which is "not" reflected on your passbook or ibanking but is reflected in a credit advice or SMS notice, the Bahtnet receiving fee is also "not" reflected on your passbook or ibanking but is reflected in a credit advice or SMS notice. 

 

And here's some updated info to the link given in post #22 regarding IDD use, exchange rate, fees, etc.  The below chart shows info for the 3 Feb payment via IDD or ACH along with an "eight month" average of payment via IDD or ACH.   I have a family member receiving SSA pension via IDD since Jul 2019 so I've been tracking payment data like exchange rate, fees, etc.  But see the link in post #22 for more info.

 

 

image.png.26e09d8a5e7543128dc6d14c27d79d4d.png

 

 

 

 

 

Pib- My bad....I read the post #22 but did not read the full linked post.....thanks for taking the time to still point the info already being on that linked post and your add info in your reply to me.....

Regards,

J

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  • 1 year later...
On 1/13/2020 at 5:51 PM, Pib said:

Two methods/payment systems now exist....a person can use either one.

 

1.  Your SS payment is paid via the ACH funds transfer system which uses ACH/ABA routing number such as the Bangkok Bank New York Branch routing number of 026008691 and then relayed to your in-Thailand Bangkok Bank restriction direct deposit account.  By restricted I mean you must physically visit a branch to withdraw/transfer money, no debit card, acct can only be in your name.  This payment method has been around for decades.

 

2.  Your SS payment is paid via IDD which uses the SWIFT system/codes.  This payment can go to any Thai bank, a regular Thai bank sayings acct with no restrictions, can have debit card, can be a single or joint owned acct.   IDD for Thailand went operational in mid 2019.

 

Thanks Pib for sharing such useful info!

 

I will probably start collecting SS sometime this year.   I anticipate problems because it wasn't too easy to set up my Medicare Part B payments but after a phone call appointment with a rep in Manila it did get sorted.   

 

Since I live near a few Bangkok Bank branches I suppose Option 1 would work well for me.    So the fee for a Social Security payment of less than $2000 would be $5 plus 200 baht using Bangkok Banks TT exchange rate?   Just want to make sure that I am not required to report to the bank every month and if my balance builds up I can withdraw a few months in one shot?

 

Option 2 seems OK too but it seems from a post on the other page the fees are slightly higher.

 

Are they both relatively painless to set up?

 

I heard that instead of the 800K or 65K a month methods for retirement visa extensions there is a hybrid method which could be useful in the future.  Are both Option 1 and Option 2 eligible for the hybrid method that now exists?

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, shortstop said:

Thanks Pib for sharing such useful info!

 

I will probably start collecting SS sometime this year.   I anticipate problems because it wasn't too easy to set up my Medicare Part B payments but after a phone call appointment with a rep in Manila it did get sorted.   

 

Since I live near a few Bangkok Bank branches I suppose Option 1 would work well for me.    So the fee for a Social Security payment of less than $2000 would be $5 plus 200 baht using Bangkok Banks TT exchange rate?   Just want to make sure that I am not required to report to the bank every month and if my balance builds up I can withdraw a few months in one shot?

 

Option 2 seems OK too but it seems from a post on the other page the fees are slightly higher.

 

Are they both relatively painless to set up?

 

I heard that instead of the 800K or 65K a month methods for retirement visa extensions there is a hybrid method which could be useful in the future.  Are both Option 1 and Option 2 eligible for the hybrid method that now exists?

 

 

If receiving SS payments via the ACH method, there are two fees:  1) the Bangkok Bank New York branch pass-thru fee which is $5 for typical transfer amounts equal to or below $2000, and 2) the "in-Thailand" Bangkok Bank receiving fee of 0.25% (Bt200 min, Bt500 max).   So, yes for a typical SS payment less than $2,000 there will be two fees of $5 and Bt200.  And remember, these two fees will not appear anywhere on your online acct or passbook as they are applied/deducted before posting of funds to your acct...this fools some people into thinking there were no fees but indeed there were.

 

You are not required to report to the bank each month like to withdraw the funds.  However, with Bangkok Bank and all/most Thai bank if you allow the balance to drop before Bt2,000 with no acct owner initiated activity like a withdrawal/deposit/transfer for over 12 months then the bank will start applying a monthly Bt50 acct maintenance fee until the balance reaches zero and then the acct is closed.  Just mentioning this in case you ever wanted to draw the acct balance down below Bt2,000 and just let that balance set for over a year like maybe returning to the home country for a while, etc.

 

Just to stress again if going with the ACH option for receipt of reoccurring US Govt payments like money pension payment you will be given special restricted acct which requires you to personally appear at the branch to withdraw/transfer funds and you will not be issued a debit card for that acct.  And you can only get such an acct at Bangkok Bank as Bangkok Bank is the only Thai bank with ACH receiving capability.

 

If receiving SS payments via the IDD method, you can have the funds sent to "any Thai bank"....to a regular acct...no acct restrictions.  But as shown in earlier posts depending on how much you payment is per month you may end-up wit a little less posting to your acct. 

 

Above approx $1,125 monthly payment is where the ACH method will result in a more baht posting to your acct after all the exchange rate and fee dust settles; below $1,125 you are better off with the IDD method in terms of baht posting to your acct.   Then you just need to consider the other pros/cons with ACH and IDD as discussed earlier.

 

Either method is easy to setup...just a slight difference in the signup forms.

 

Most Thai immigration offices do accept the combination income (probably what you are calling the hybrid method) where you can use money on deposit "and" a monthly transfer to satisfy the minimum income requirement for an extension of stay versus using just the money on deposit method or just the monthly transfer method.

 

Advance good luck on applying for SS....advance welcome to the Ol' Geezer's Club.

 

image.png.b101437b8b4acbb8e433a9b591d2fd8f.png

 

 

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@ OneZero

 You still might want to contact DFAS and ask them if the support Thailand IDD now.  SSA and VA does.  Maybe the DFAS webpage is just outdated.   I think I remember a ThaiVisa post from about a year ago from someone in Thailand getting a DFAS pension payment via IDD.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/24/2021 at 8:59 PM, Pib said:

@ OneZero

 You still might want to contact DFAS and ask them if the support Thailand IDD now.  SSA and VA does.  Maybe the DFAS webpage is just outdated.   I think I remember a ThaiVisa post from about a year ago from someone in Thailand getting a DFAS pension payment via IDD.

Pib I have the same question about IDD and DFAS. I looked at DFAS and their website is not showing Thailand as supported. I cannot call them and I see no way to send them an email. Are you aware of anything new about DFAS and IDD?

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3 hours ago, longball53098 said:

Pib I have the same question about IDD and DFAS. I looked at DFAS and their website is not showing Thailand as supported. I cannot call them and I see no way to send them an email. Are you aware of anything new about DFAS and IDD?

Select the "Contact Us" selection and submit a ASK MyPay ticket which is basically a structured email to DFAS.  Not aware of anything new.

https://mypay.dfas.mil/#/

 

image.png.e475e4a5f79d1c2cce8b77cb0d46dedc.png

And this DFAS IDD page of info does not show Thailand as one of the available DFAS IDD countries (if the page is up to date).

https://www.dfas.mil/RetiredMilitary/manage/idd/

 

Edited by Pib
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I just submitted a ASK MyPay ticket/email to DFAS asking if Thailand is now a country they send to.  Said your IDD webpage says DFAS selects available countries based on Federal Reserve Bank requirements which the SSA and VA also use and the SSA/VA support IDD to Thailand.  Asked if their IDD page is up to date.  Last time I asked was via phone call....the DFAS rep just pretty much quoted the IDD webpage in his answer.   Suppose to get a response to the ticket/email within approx 2 days.

Heck, the Philippines is not even on the DFAS IDD list and there are about a zillion U.S. retired military living in the Philippines.  But hey, DFAS sets its own payment rules....definitely does not mirror IDD countries offered by the SSA, VA and other govt agencies.

 

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On 3/19/2021 at 4:17 PM, Pib said:

Select the "Contact Us" selection and submit a ASK MyPay ticket which is basically a structured email to DFAS.  Not aware of anything new.

https://mypay.dfas.mil/#/

 

image.png.e475e4a5f79d1c2cce8b77cb0d46dedc.png

And this DFAS IDD page of info does not show Thailand as one of the available DFAS IDD countries (if the page is up to date).

https://www.dfas.mil/RetiredMilitary/manage/idd/

 

It would seem that the CSR's at DFAS know more than the website regarding if Thailand is on the IDD list. 

Over the weekend I sent a email ticket to DFAS regarding IDD to a Thai bank. The answer came back just today. I copied the question and answer received in a jpg attachment that I post here for all to read that have wondered about DFAS and IDD to Thailand. DFAS quite clearly says it is possible and they even went on to say what forms are needed to start the IDD.

This answer is all I needed to know560198812_DFASIDDanswer.jpg.b5ab9f7533dc8dbd574183ecc458c666.jpg

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Yes.   I got an response Monday in response to my IDD for Thailand question.    But I rejected the DFAS rep's answer as it dealt with direct deposit to a U.S. bank vs IDD....the response included things like be sure to use a U.S. bank routing number, etc.  I responded by saying either DFAS didn't understand the question or the DFAS rep answering the question was untrained in IDD.   Tuesday I got a respond that they had relayed by IDD question to another DFAS dept.

 

This morning I had a response similar to yours....a little different from yours since I expect you also asked about SBP.   I didn't ask about SBP since I didn't sign-up for it.  Anyway below is the response they gave. 

 

And obviously the current (as of 24 Mar 2021) DFAS webpage showing the list of countries they will do IDD to is sadly outdated.

 

image.png.85407b40de4d456c13c81c461ea37c07.png

 

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image.png.882e1a0960187fedc51feb51335bf071.png

 

Forget to comment on one thing that may make DFAS military retirement pay to Thailand via IDD undesirable in some fine-print so to speak that a person must send Net Pay; no allotments allowed as stated in the first sentence of the DFAS reply.    I expect that is because they probably can not use the international SWIFT system to split your pay in several directions (going to different places) like they can with the U.S. ACH system.

 

That no allotment allowed is definitely a Con as I know many retirees have one of more allotments going here and there to pay for things like insurance, a deposit to another bank, etc.   I know I sure do.   Three different allotments I think without double checking.

 

Now of course a person could probably arrange another way to replace those allotments but the other way might not be as good...or not even work depending on exactly what the allotment is for.

 

EDIT:  And after some more thinking Net Pay usually means after all taxes and deductions (which includes allotments)....so maybe DFAS is just saying they can not send any allotments via IDD and any allotments will still have to go via ACH.   If a person was going to sign up for DFAS IDD they should double check how allotments would be handled.

Edited by Pib
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2 hours ago, Pib said:

If a person was going to sign up for DFAS IDD they should double check how allotments would be handled.

Just to confirm and out of curiosity( in case I ever do want to switch to DFAS IDD), I have sent a question to them asking for clarification of the ".....net pay; no allotments" thingy.  Just want to be sure it means a person can keep current allotments/add new allotments if needed for payment via ACH routing number & acct number, however, Net Pay could be transmitted via IDD SWIFT but a person could not send any allotments via IDD.   Just want to make sure it would work that way versus a person no longer being able to do allotments if switching from ACH to IDD for DFAS mil retirement pay.

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1 hour ago, Pib said:

Just to confirm and out of curiosity( in case I ever do want to switch to DFAS IDD), I have sent a question to them asking for clarification of the ".....net pay; no allotments" thingy.  Just want to be sure it means a person can keep current allotments/add new allotments if needed for payment via ACH routing number & acct number, however, Net Pay could be transmitted via IDD SWIFT but a person could not send any allotments via IDD.   Just want to make sure it would work that way versus a person no longer being able to do allotments if switching from ACH to IDD for DFAS mil retirement pay.

 

DFAS responded already....a partial quote follows.   They did not specifically answer my question about any allotments a person already has or wanted to setup in the future would continue to be by ACH  with all remaining pay (i.e., Net Pay) by IDD SWIFT, but I will assume/feel more confident now that allotments would continue under the ACH system as normal...would not be affected by your Net Pay being sent via IDD SWIFT.  

Quote

DFAS can authorize direct deposit Internationally but can not setup an allotment to be sent Internationally.

 

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Hello

I am 75 old living in  S.E. Asia since 2006.

I have a home in Vietnam and Thailand since 2010 because there is no retirement visa extension in Vietnam...

Unless you have a Vietnam work permit you are forced to border run every 6 months from Vietnam and at my

age it is a huge physical problem having Glaucoma lost vision....  In short what I have done is travel every 6 month

between Thailand and Vietnam with family home in Vietnam...

 

Ok now what is my problem with Manila FSU  SSA.GOV staff failure of fiduciary duty over past 10 years?

 

2010 my  California ex wife forwarded email from a Sally Lee SSA.GOV Mission Viejo Office, California requesting

my original identification documents to register for Medicare Plan A, after requesting a REPLACEMENT SSA.CARD

that was demanded by my Wells Fargo Bqnk manager in Costa Mesa, Calif before wire transferring 100,000 USD

  from my 1976 established saving and checking account. The bank demanded verified original SSA.card and so

I contacted Manila and ended up at the USA Vietnam Hanoi State Department Embassy for verification and the

Embasy ACS services re routed,  delivered to Manila SSA.GOV intercepted,  Robert Jocson!  NOT TO  Sally Lee who

SSA.GOV  requested original verified documents from Mission Viejo, Calif

 

Story ended,  Wells Fargo Bank never received my SSA card document....  and I never received Manila Medicare card.

 

In short Wells Fargo trashed my 1976  checking  account,  Master/VISA  card,  bank savings accounts after waiting

and waiting and waiting got nothing from SSA.GOV

 

All my credit was Wells Fargo BAnk  trashed,  stolen,  mailed to a unpaid last known Post Office Box  address...

 

This created extreme prejudice and threats from Manila Robert Jocson representing SSA,GOV and I w3as forced to

travel several times to the USA Vietnam Embassy tpo certify and fill out SSA.GOV Benefit applications that was  even

delivered by certified diplomatic Embassy staff postal service recorded numbers to SSA.GOV International,  Baltimore,

Maryland  and SSA.GOV FRAUD, Baltimore maryland and SSA.GOV Manila PH... There is nothing never a response only dead

silence but I have several signed and certified invoices delivery notice to these SSA.GOV offices...

 

I have offered and offer several thousand USD to any person or business who can locate, isolate, enforce, the delivery

of my money past due several yers....  My last USA SSA.GOV statement printed I was to receive 1310.00 USD per month

that was 2010... I have n ot received on penny or a responsible answer from any SSA.GOV office since Robert Jocson

started gross negligence failure of fiduciary duties and cover up his fraud biasing 17 Manila SSA.GOV agents who have

tyemporary staff and ask same stupid questions ask to verify at USA Embassy and then disapear completely disapear

never answer never reply....

 

I have asked for SSA.GOV attorney and USA legal services and any USA Embassy legal services all declined to litigate

the USA SSA.GOV International training management discipline all ignored not their job... The USA Embassy staff 2017

declared they are no longer helping and have nothing to do with SSA.GOV services can only verify and certify SSA.GOV

requested documents and nothing more....  

 

I have entered the USA State Department Embassy in person after all this SSA.GOV Manila fraud and 2016 2017 have

hand filed documents printed on USA Embassy paer forms with State Department Seal that I accept that my SSA.GOV

money was to be delivered and picked up in person at the USA Embassy every month...  These papers were intercepted

by Robert Jocson staff at manila who ping pong and trashed and re requested same papers declaring never received!

 

The USA Embassy confiremd delivery several times to MAnila and Baltimore SSA.GOV International has never responded

they all bury and cover up gross negligence failure of fiduciary duties...

 

I do not know who you are or what power you have or how you can help with my SSA.GOV benefits long over due at age 75

all I can inform you is that we are talking ~ 100,000 USD and I am willing toi pay you or any other litigation services to get

my money returned before I am dead....  Have not much time left at age 75 all I can do is keep trying... You can search my

history herein ThaiVisa.com using my user name...

 

Thanks for listening and best wishes, please I do not want your sympathy as many have rambled unclear  suggestions  

to my problem having no expert experience.. What i hope for is a person to person salary paid contact who can isolate

and pin down a SSA.GOV  Baltimore  International staff Director to handle and review boxes of paper work applications

delivered over TEN years to several SSA.GOV locations

 

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On 1/15/2020 at 5:20 PM, JDGRUEN said:

Contact S. S. in Manila or direct to THE U.S. S.S. Baltimore / D. C. by telephone late at night.. Use Skype for calling with a credit balance (no Skype needed on the receiving end).

 

Not sure what you mean by "credit balance." From Thailand, you can use Skype to call any domestic (US only) toll-free phone number for free, as if you were calling from within the US. No credit or payment necessary.

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Problems with SSA bureaucracy are not rare. Every senator and representative has a staff member assigned to deal with SSA on constituent's behalf and unravel these problems. And SSA has a special office for dealing with Congress. As an American overseas you are entitled to vote in Federal elections, remember.

 

So that'd be my first suggestion.

 

My second suggestion: do not go into great detail in your initial contact! Just mention you are not receiving benefits due to some sort of mix-up that has gone on for over ten years. Keep it simple. Let them unravel the problem. Too much history and detail will be confusing.

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