The Multibanco System in Portugal

How to use Portugal's sophisticated network of ATMs where you can not only withdraw cash but also pay utility bills and buy mobile phone credit...

Portugal's Multibanco System is a sophisticated system of Automatic Teller Machines (ATM). SIBS (Sociedade Interbancária de Serviços SA), the company behind Multibanco, launched the network in September 1985 with the installation of 12 machines in Lisbon and Oporto. Over 11,000 machines are now available throughout Portugal, in banks, supermarkets, shopping malls, stations, museums, and airports.

The Multibanco system has more functionalities than ATMs in other countries, the services offered include:

  • Pay utility bills (electricity, gas, and water)
  • Pay services and purchases
  • Buy tickets for concerts and shows
  • Buy cinema tickets
  • Make cash withdrawals
  • Deposit cheques (in some machines)
  • Order cheques (in some machines)
  • Deposit cash (in the new generation of machines due for launch in 2007/8)
  • Make inter-bank transfers
  • Make transfers from one account to another within the same bank
  • Get a balance statement
  • Get an instant statement of movements
  • Pay Social Security contributions
  • Pay Income Tax
  • Pay Value Added Tax
  • Recharge mobile phone credit
  • Make miscellaneous payments to the state

Paying Bills via the Multibanco System

Household bills (gas, telephone, electricity) can be paid for through the Multibanco ATMs. Each bill has a box with the payment details and references which need to be keyed into specific fields on-screen when at the ATM.

At the Multibanco ATM:

  • Select MB – Pagamento por Multibanco (MB – Payment by Multibanco)
  • Then key in the entidade, the company 5-digit Reference Number in the box on the bill
  • Then type the referência, the 9-digit bill and customer reference number
  • The montante, amount in Euros, key in the figures and press "Confirmar"

The MB machine will automatically issue a receipt which is proof of payment and contains the time, date, company reference details and amount paid. This should kept with the bill as proof of payment should a problem arise.

Security Features

There is a withdrawal limit of €400 per day and three attempts at the pin number before the card is retained by the machine.

Lost cards can be reported to Cartões Perdidos

  • Tel: 808 201 251/217/918/780  from Portugal
  • Tel: (+351) 217 813 080 from abroad

Glossary of Multibanco Terminology

Portuguese English
Levantamento Withdrawals
Consultas de Saldo Balance enquiry
Movimentos Transaction enquiry
Transferências de Segunda Conta a Primeira Conta Transfers from second to first account
Transferências de Primeira Conta a Segunda Conta Transfers from first account to second account
Transferência Interbancária Inter-bank transfers
Pagamentos ao Sector Estado Payments to the state sector
Pagamento ao Sector Publico Payments to the public sector
Pagamentos a Segurança Social Payments to social security
Pagamentos de Serviços e Compras Paying for goods and services
recibo Receipt
Retirar O Seu Dinheiro Please take your money
Em Actualização. Dirigir-se ao Multibanco mais Próximo The machine is temporarily out of order, go to another Multibanco Machine

Further Information