Photo Credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90
American banks are not processing for clearance any checks coming from outside the U.S. A Jerusalem money changer believes this is yet one more result of the American government shutdown, entering its second day.

U.S. citizens staying in Israel have discovered this week that they are no longer able to get Israeli shekels in exchange for their checks which are drawn to U.S. banks.

Until this week, Israeli foreign exchange places would accept U.S. checks, at least from their regular customers, and would pay them out for a fee of 1 percent of their value. But this is no ,longer the case.

Advertisement

“The problem is with the check clearance process,” a Jerusalem money changer who asked to remain anonymous told The Jewish Press. “No one outside the U.S. is able to do check clearance. It’s an international problem, it’s not a problem only in Israel.”

American banks are not processing for clearance any checks coming from outside the U.S. The Jerusalem money changer believes this is yet one more result of the American government shutdown, which is into its second day.

“Normally, we scan the checks in the U.S. and pay the people over here,” he explained. Now the same process will be done by mail, will take six business days, and customers will be charged 2 percent.

This reporter, living in Israel, was able to make a regular payment into his U.S. credit card from his U.S. bank over the phone. But using one’s credit card for cash withdrawals abroad may now also present a problem.

“Everyone is nervous,” said the money changer, adding, “We’re working on a solution.”

He does not believe this will be a permanent problem. “They’ll figure it out,” he says.

According to the Herald Tribune, the Federal Reserve’s check-clearing service has not been shut down, and since the Reserve is an independent, self-financing agency, all of its operations will continue normally.

Federal Reserve Banks will continue to process checks and provide a mechanism for checks and funds to move between banks. But, apparently, while lending institutions will not suffer, individuals attempting to use their services—at least outside the U.S.—are not nearly as fortunate.

Advertisement

35 COMMENTS

  1. They should use bitcoins. Say a parent in the US is sending money to their child in Israel. The parent moves dollars from their bank account to bitcoin using something like coinbase.com . Then send the bitcoins from coinbase to the bitcoin address of someone in Israel who has listed themselves on localbitcoins.com that’s in a location convenient to the child. Then the child meets them and gets the shekels.

  2. They should use bitcoins. Say a parent in the US is sending money to their child in Israel. The parent moves dollars from their bank account to bitcoin using something like coinbase.com . Then send the bitcoins from coinbase to the bitcoin address of someone in Israel who has listed themselves on localbitcoins.com that's in a location convenient to the child. Then the child meets them and gets the shekels.

  3. I used to do that but now my American bank charges at 2-3% foreign transaction fee for taking out the money from an Israeli bank and I think the Israeli bank also charges something. Plus Israeli banks don’t always give as good an exchange rate as the money changing places. You need to pay close attention to how much it is costing you to use the Atm machine.

  4. I used to do that but now my American bank charges at 2-3% foreign transaction fee for taking out the money from an Israeli bank and I think the Israeli bank also charges something. Plus Israeli banks don't always give as good an exchange rate as the money changing places. You need to pay close attention to how much it is costing you to use the Atm machine.

  5. I used to do that but now my American bank charges at 2-3% foreign transaction fee for taking out the money from an Israeli bank and I think the Israeli bank also charges something. Plus Israeli banks don't always give as good an exchange rate as the money changing places. You need to pay close attention to how much it is costing you to use the Atm machine.

  6. who do you use and when was the last time you went to him? I use Manhattan Exchange in Katamon on Argron. He didn't have the problem on September 30, but I haven't been since. Maybe this problem started October 1

  7. We have until Monday to pay our rent or our landlady is threatening to change the locks and throw us in the street. What Happened? Why? We have been cashing checks for years, and in one minute, BOOM, we can’t even buy groceries?

  8. We have until Monday to pay our rent or our landlady is threatening to change the locks and throw us in the street. What Happened? Why? We have been cashing checks for years, and in one minute, BOOM, we can't even buy groceries?

  9. We have until Monday to pay our rent or our landlady is threatening to change the locks and throw us in the street. What Happened? Why? We have been cashing checks for years, and in one minute, BOOM, we can't even buy groceries?

  10. My son and I are thinking of moving to Israel but we get social security, apparently there is no way of exchanging U.S. Currency which is a huge discouragement Our govt STINKS in not letting U.S. citizens exchange U.S. currency. Are debit cards acceptable? First thing though is to get shekels? How do you do that? So even visitors cannot come now.

Loading Facebook Comments ...