What is Multibanco?
Multibanco is an interbank payment solution network in Portugal. This network is a subsidiary of SIBS (Sociedade Interbancária de Serviços S.A.) and offers various payment solutions, including payment provision.
Customers can use the Multibanco payment system through online banking systems or by ATM systems. All major banks of Portugal support this service, and, thus, almost all citizens use it for online transactions.
What services does Multibanco offer?
The advantage of Multibanco is that it offers much broader options that traditional ATMs in other countries.
The basic options that standard ATMs offer are money withdrawal, monitoring balance, and recent transactions. That is how ATMs used to be. Now they are enriched with lots of additional functionality, such as
payments for goods and services, ticket sales, mobile phone top-ups, and many others.
The currency of the platform is the euro, always choose it when making payments, merchants can face high fees during dynamic currency conversion.
Nowadays, the Multibanco payment network offers about 60 payment services. Among them are:
- Pay for electricity, water, gas, landline phone, or any other utility bills.
- Make online payments for goods and services.
- Buy tickets for entertainment, including cinema, concerts, etc.
- The possibility to withdraw funds.
- Some ATMs allow depositing cheques, as well as order cheques.
- Deposit cash.
- Provide inter-bank transactions.
- Transfer funds between different accounts within one bank.
- Receive the balance and funds movement statement instantly.
- Make contributions to Social Security services.
- Pay taxes.
- Top-up cell phone balance.
- Make payments to a state.
Multibanco allows users with a local (Portuguese) bank account to withdraw a maximum of 400 Euros daily (holders of foreign accounts can withdraw more, depending on their bank). If the user fails to enter the correct PIN after three attempts, the ATM will not return the card. If the user fails to take the money out of the ATM after a certain period of time, the ATM takes back the cash to prevent theft.
A recent security measure has been introduced under the form of a tinting mechanism that releases ink and stains the money in the event of the forced opening of the ATM. When in possession of a tinted bill, one must report it to the police (for further investigation, as it is likely to be from a stolen ATM) and can later have it traded at a bank for a non-tinted one, without additional charges. In addition to security cameras, many ATM terminals include a rear-view mirror above the interactive screen, and the money withdrawal slot is located at approximately waist-level, for quick and more secluded storage of the money.