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Operating area Portugal
Members 27
ATMs 11,440
Founded 1985

Multibanco is an interbank network in Portugal owned and operated by Sociedade Interbancaria de Serviços S.A., or SIBS, that links the ATMs of 27 banks in Portugal, totaling 11,208 machines as of October 2006. The bank members of Multibanco control the SIBS. Multibanco is a fully-integrated interbank network and offers more services than the usually found in other countries, making that one of its most known characteristics.[1]

Multibanco in itself does not only encompass ATMs. It has a full-fledged EFTPOS network called Multibanco Automatic Payment, and is also a provider of mobile phone and Internet banking services through the TeleMultibanco and MBNet services respectively. It is also the provider of the Via Verde automated toll payment service.



The Caixa Automático Multibanco (Multibanco ATM) was the first project developed by SIBS and started operating in September 1985, with the installing of 12 terminals in the cities of Lisbon and Porto.[2]

In 1995, the network had 3,745 ATM machines and in 2006 has more than 11,200, on which an average of more than 60 million operations are made every month.[2]


The Multibanco is known for having more functionalities than standard ATMs in other countries.[1] In the beginning, only cash withdrawals and balance and transactions checking was available. Later, features such as service and shopping payments, cell phone pre-paid cards loading and show tickets sales, among others, were introduced. Nowadays, 60 different functionalities are possible in Multibanco network. [3]


From 2001 to 2005, the average number of transactions[4] by year is over 630 million. The number of has been rising every year, with 2005 having 719 million transactions. According to the available data of the first 11 months of 2006, this record will probably be beaten: with an average of over 62 million transactions in a month, more than 685 million were recorded from January to November.[5]

Year Number
of ATMs
Total number of
2001 8,482 527,417,947
2002 9,032 588,806,749
2003 9,521 631,912,059
2004 10,085 683,764,445
2005 10,723 719,006,591


Multibanco only allows 400 Euros to be withdrawn daily and three attempts to get the card secret code. The ATM keeps the card if the user fails to introduce the correct secret code after the third attempt.[6] If the user fails to take the money out of the ATM after a certain period of time, the ATM takes out the money to prevent stealing.[7] 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 forced opening of the ATM machine. 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 [8]. In addition to security cameras, many ATM terminals include a rearview 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.

Other Multibanco Services


Pagamento Automático MB (Automatic Payment)

The Multibanco Automatic Payment is an EFTPOS network and started operating in 1987. It allows electronic payments made in the local of a sale, through the use of a system accepted card. Therefore, this service allows real time payments protected with security measures, with about 155.000 terminals existent.[9] In 2005, almost 500 million payments were made using this system.[10]


TeleMultibanco was launched in 1996[11] and allows its users to check their account balance and transactions, do transfers, service and shopping payments, and request for cheque books through their cell phones.[12] In 2005, almost 2 million transactions[4] were made using this system.[13]


MBNet allows users to do payments through the Internet and it is directed for online shopping.[14] Over 230.000 payments were done using MBNet in 2005.[15] MBNet allows to create virtual credit cards to be used either online or whatever use. Depending on the card system one will get AMERICAN EXPRESS, VISA or MASTERCARD virtual cards. For example, if the card is a VISA or VISA ELECTRON then the generated cards by MBNet are VISA's. It works on almost all places, including Paypal (Paypal Account Verification isn't possible though) and all regular places that accept these credit cards as payment (At one time in 2005, it failed on Macromedia's Online Store trying to buy Macromedia Studio MX 2004, because they included more strict verifications than the usual).

To generate a virtual credit card one must login at MBNet's site and enter a limit. Then the site instantly gives the credit card number and security codes (CVC2 and CVV2) to pay your online purchase (the number is valid for offline purchases). The virtual cards allow for normal credit card interactions, either paying or cashback operations to the holder's account. The virtual cards are meant for a one time use.

All cards get a usable lifetime of one month. The great thing on MBNet is that the real card numbers are never known to the vendors and the card's limit is set according to the purchase's value. Even if a vendor or a hacker tries to extort a higher amount, the defined limit prevents it. Shopping online is way safer.

Registration to use MBNet is required. To do so, one must go to a Multibanco ATM or use the internet banking (if the bank allows that operation on its online banking service). The client sets a password but the username is given by the system. Registration links the MBNet service to a debit or credit card of one of the SIBS associated banking institutions that support it.

Though itself an interesting system it has not been adopted by the bulk of consumers.

Via Verde and Host to Host

The automated toll payment service Via Verde is also operated by SIBS. Host to Host is the name given to the system that allows users to perform ATM transactions[4] through their own bank site, enabling online banking which has been active since 2000.[16]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b "(Portuguese) Multibanco português é dos mais avançados do mundo". Sociedade Interbancaria de Serviços S.A., citing Portuguese newspaper Semanário Económico in its 2006-10-27 edition. "A qualidade do sistema português de máquinas Automated Teller Machine (ATM) é reconhecida em qualquer ponto do globo, não só pela modernidade dos equipamentos como pela enorme quantidade de funcionalidades disponíveis." (The quality of the Portuguese system is recognized anywhere in the globe, not only for the modernity of its equipments, but also for the enormous amount of functionalities available.). Retrieved 2006-12-19.  
  2. ^ a b "Multibanco: ATM Network". SIBS. Retrieved 2006-12-19.  
  3. ^ "ATM Network: Operations". SIBS. Retrieved 2006-12-19.  
  4. ^ a b c d Includes cash withdrawals, deposits, account and transfers checking, payments and "other operations"
  5. ^ "ATM Network". SIBS. Retrieved 2006-12-19.  
  6. ^ "ATM Network: Userful Information". SIBS. Retrieved 2006-12-19.  
  7. ^ "ATM Network: FAQs". SIBS. Retrieved 2006-12-19.  
  8. ^ " - posse de notas tintadas".   (Portuguese)
  9. ^ "Multibanco: EFTPOS Network". SIBS. Retrieved 2006-12-19.  
  10. ^ "EFTPOS Network". SIBS. Retrieved 2006-12-19.  
  11. ^ "Multibanco:TeleMultibanco". SIBS. Retrieved 2006-12-19.  
  12. ^ "TeleMultibanco: Operations". SIBS. Retrieved 2006-12-19.  
  13. ^ "TeleMultibanco". SIBS. Retrieved 2006-12-19.  
  14. ^ "Multibanco: MBNet". SIBS. Retrieved 2006-12-19.  
  15. ^ "MBNet". SIBS. Retrieved 2006-12-19.  
  16. ^ "Multibanco: Others". SIBS. Retrieved 2006-12-19.  

External links


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