Do you still withdraw large amounts of money from an automatic teller machine or the bank to pay your bills? Do you still slip out of the office, waste time during your lunch hour or in the morning, waiting in line at the bank to make payments? Would you like to receive or make payments in an easier and safer way from the convenience of your home or office or from anywhere by cell phone? The most modern, easiest, safest and economical way to make payments is called the SPEI® system.

SPEI® is a system developed and operated by Banco de México that allows the general public, in a matter of seconds, to make electronic payments, also called electronic transfers, via a bank, the Internet, or mobile banking. This system allows money to be transferred electronically between bank deposit accounts almost instantly.

With SPEI® you can pay school fees, the rent, your gym membership, your mortgage, your car loan, or send money to your loved ones… In sum, SPEI® is the best alternative for making rapid, safe payments.

What do I need to do to pay through SPEI®?

1. You need a bank account with Internet or mobile banking services.

  • The service is solicited directly from the bank at which you have your account. Although it generally has a cost (it can be a monthly or per-service fee), it's worth it! If you take into account all you spend to go to a bank branch to make your payments (transportation, parking, taxi, going to a different bank's ATM, your time), the cost is justified.
  • Consult a list of banks that offer the SPEI® service.

2. You must know the Standardized Bank Code (CLABE) for the account (18 digits), the debit card number (16 digits) or the cell-phone number (10 digits) associated with the account of the person or business to whom you wish to make the payment or transfer the money.

  • For security reasons, commercial banks´ Internet banking services ask you to first register the account that will receive the payment, and this account can be used only after a certain period of time. Take this into consideration.
  • If you use a mobile banking service, you only need to register the account that will receive the payment first if the payment will be more than 250 UDIS. The advantage of using mobile banking services is that you don't have to wait!

How does it work?

Each bank designs its Internet service differently, but the general process is the following:

1. Access your bank's Internet or mobile banking service.

  • Internet banking service,
  • Mobile banking and payment services are available 24 hours a day, everyday.

2. Identify the SPEI® payment option.

  • SPEI® payments are also known as same-day payments, electronic transfers, interbank transfers, and third-party payments.
  • Some banks allow you to schedule your payments so that they are made automatically on the date you choose.
  • Remember, SPEI® payments are always made between accounts at different banks.

3. Provide the payment data: reference number, type of payment, and the amount of the operation.

  • Some banks ask you to specify a payment limit when you register an account.
  • Your bank will verify that the balance in your account is sufficient to cover the payment.
  • SPEI® payments and transfers should not take more than 30 seconds.1
  • The reference number (up to seven digits) and payment description (up to 40 characters) are data that will reach the person being paid; you will also receive a payment ID generated by your bank known as the search code. This information allows identification of the payment in bank statements (printed or electronic), as well as a search for the purposes of future clarification. This information is very important, so keep it!
  • We recommend that you tell the person who will receive the payment the words you use to indicate the payment description. This can help save them time when they need to identify a payment in a bank statement or for future clarification.

Don´t forget your receipt!

Just as when you make a payment at the bank and the bank teller offers you a receipt or deposit slip, your bank should give you a receipt when you conduct a SPEI® transaction.

A receipt for a SPEI® payment should contain the following information at the least2:

If you are the party SENDING the payment: If you are the party RECEIVING the payment:
  • Name of the bank that received the payment
  • Name of the bank of the person who sent the payment
  • Date on which the payment was made
  • The date on which the payment was made
  • The payment amount
  • The payment amount
  • The account* of the person who received the payment
  • The account* of the person who sent the payment and the account* of the person who received the payment
  • The name of the holder of the account who received the payment
  • The name of the holder of the account who sent the payment
  • The payment search code
  • The payment search code
  • A reference number
  • A reference number
  • The payment description
  • The payment description

* Remember the account can be the CLABE, the debit card number or the cell phone number associated with the account.

Did you forget to print or save the receipt? Don't worry. You can obtain your receipt in your bank statement via Internet banking.3

Search for and be familiar with the status of your payment

Your payment should never get lost. Some situations can occur in which the payment does not show up because the connection between your bank and SPEI® has a problem, the connection with your bank's website failed, or the bank that received the payment did not respond in time.

Banco de México and the employees in charge of SPEI® take many actions to ensure that the payment status is always available; thus, two mechanisms have been designed through which you can search for your payments or electronic transfers via SPEI®; they are:

1. The Electronic Payment Receipt (CEP) is a receipt or electronic document issued by Banco de México for informative purposes to back up the realization of a payment4. The CEP is issued with the information sent to SPEI by the bank that received the payment as confirmation of payment deposit, which can take up to a maximum of 30 minutes. In addition, the CEP can be consulted for SPEI® payments made in the last 45 working days.5

The information you need on hand is: 1) the date the payment was made, 2) the reference number or search code, 3) the name of the bank through which you conducted the SPEI® operation, 4) the name of the bank to which the payment was intended to be made, 5) the number of the account to which you sent the payment, and 6) the payment amount.

If you cannot obtain your CEP, it may be that the payment was not made for some reason and was returned; in that case, you can use MI-SPEI.

2. MI-SPEI is an information service through which you can consult the status of a payment with the search code your bank gave you when you made the payment, or with the reference number. This information unit allows you to find out, for example, whether or not the payment was returned for some reason or whether it was never made. With this information you can go to your bank to find out more details on the status of your payment and then follow through.

What follows are several possible payment statuses:

Status Description
Being processed This means that SPEI® has received the request to make the payment, but the money has not yet been deposited.
Liquidated This means that SPEI® has already processed the payment and the beneficiary bank is in a position to deposit the money in the beneficiary's account.
Cancelled The payment was cancelled by the bank with the account of the person who requested the payment be made. A payment may be cancelled before the money is transferred, but once the money is deposited, the transaction cannot be cancelled.
Rejected For security reasons, the payment was rejected by SPEI® given that it contained errors or information inconsistencies.
Undergoing return The payment was returned by the beneficiary bank and the amount is being transferred to the account of the person who originated the payment.
Returned The payment was returned by the beneficiary bank, and the amount should already be reflected in the account of the person who had requested that the payment be made.
Cancelled at the close The deposit of the payment amount has not yet been authorized, and it was cancelled at the SPEI® system's close of operations.
Not found There is no registration of a SPEI® operation that meets the specified search criteria.

Do you want to validate a CEP? You are in the right place

The CEP can be obtained in a printable format (PDF) as well as a data file (XML). The CEP provides not only information on the payment or electronic transfer, but also the series number of the security certificate, the originating chain of events, and a digital seal that allows validation of authenticity and thus provides the user certainty regarding the payment.

This means that you can validate the digital seal with which the electronic receipt was signed, as well as the information it contains corresponding to that provided by the bank that received the SPEI® payment. If you want to validate the CEP you were given as evidence of payment, you should also have the CEP in an XML format and use the following application to validate it:

Remember, make payments and electronic payments with SPEI. It is very safe!

Making payments with SPEI® is very safe since these operations are made through a private, protected network.6 Also, an Internet banking service or mobile payment service requires the use of a security device, which may be a token or a security card, ensuring that only you can make transactions with these services.7

At any rate, when you use the SPEI® service via a bank website, we recommend that you do the following:

  • Make your payments or transfers from your home; avoid using sites offered in public places such as libraries, schools, or cafes.
  • When you access your bank's website, make sure your connection is secure (verify that the electronic address begins with "https" or that the lock symbol appears).
  • Keep your computational equipment up to date and use an antivirus.
  • Avoid using passwords that are easy to guess, such as your name or birthdate, and do not share them with anyone.

As a user you are protected.

Don't forget that Mexico's National Commission for the Protection and Defense of Financial Services Users (CONDUSEF) can help you obtain any clarification you need from your bank for this service. If for any reason you need better service, we encourage you to contact them.

We are here to serve you!

1/ Notice 17/2010, no. 3.3, a, first paragraph, establishes that a SPEI payment should not take more than 30 seconds after approval.

2/ Notice 17/2010, 6 is. 1 indicates that banks should provide at least this information.

3/ Notice 17/2010, 6 Bis.2 indicates that, when you consult movements in an account, banks should make available the information needed to identify a payment. At the same time, a bank should also include with each payment an electronic link in order to download your Electronic Payment Receipt (CEP).

4/ The CEP also provides a series number for a security certificate, the originating chain of events, and a digital seal that allows validation of authenticity as well as certainty for the user regarding the payment.

5/ If your payment was made more than 45 days ago, Banco de México can help you obtain your payment information. To do this, you must give us, through the Banco de México Liaison Unit, the date on which the transfer was made, the bank that originated the payment, the bank to which the payment was sent, and the reference number, as well as the search code.

6/ This private network uses security applications such as access control devices (firewalls) as well as the encryption of information so that no one besides the bank that receives the payment can understand and process the information. This is a sufficient guarantee that no one can send payments in your name or alter them.

7/ Banks have to comply with regulation on security and fraud prevention issued by the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV). This regulation is in accordance with international practices and standards, and its objective is to allow users of electronic banking systems to make transfers in a safe and reliable way. You can find more information here: General rules applicable to credit institutions (Notice Only for Banks), December 2, 2005, Fifth Part, Other Rules, Chapter X on the use of electronic banking services, p. 214.