Multibanco is an interbank network in Portugal owned and operated by Sociedade Interbancária de Serviços S.A., or SIBS, that links the ATMs of 27 banks in Portugal, totaling 12,700 machines as of December 2014. The bank members of Multibanco control the SIBS. Multibanco is a fully integrated interbank network. One of the most notable characteristics of Multibanco is the wide range of services that can be utilised through its machines.
Multibanco in itself does not only encompass ATMs. It has a fully-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 on September 2, 1985, with the installation of 12 terminals in the cities of Lisbon and Porto.
In 1995, the network had 3,745 ATMs; in 2006 had more than 11,200; and as of December 2014 it had 12,700, on which an average of more than 75 million operations are made every month.
Multibanco is known for having more functionality than standard ATMs in other countries. Initially, the machines only offered withdrawal of cash, checking of balances and checking of recent transactions. Later, features such as service and shopping payments, Prepaid mobile phone top-up and show ticket sales, among others, were introduced. Nowadays, 60 different services are offered by the Multibanco network.
From 2001 to 2005, the average number of transactions by year is over 630 million. The number has been rising every year; 719 million were recorded in 2005. This has since grown substantially, with 900 million operations recorded in 2014.
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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 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.
Other Multibanco Services
Pagamento Automático MB (Automatic Payment)
The Multibanco Automatic Payment is an EFTPOS network which began operating in 1987. It allows electronic payments made at the point of sale, through the use of a system accepted card. Therefore, this service allows real time payments protected with security measures, with 266,000 such terminals on the network as of 2014. In 2014, 781 million payments were made using this system.
MB PHONE was launched as TeleMultibanco in 1996 and rebranded to the current designation in 2008. It allows its users to check their account balance and transactions, make transfers, service and shopping payments, and request cheque books through their mobile phones. In 2009, around 3 million transactions were made by the 300,000 mobile phone clients using this system.
MB NET allows users to make payments through the Internet and it is set up for online shopping. Over 1 million payments were made using MB NET in 2009. MB NET allows the creation of virtual credit cards to be used online. Depending on the card system, one will get an American Express, VISA or MasterCard virtual card. For example, if the card is a VISA or Visa Electron then the generated cards by MB NET are VISAs. This system is compatible with most payment systems, including PayPal and all places that accept credit cards as payment.
To generate a virtual credit card one must login to the MB NET site and enter a limit. Then the site instantly gives the credit card number and security codes (CVC2 and CVV2) to pay for your online purchase. The number is also valid for offline purchases. The virtual cards allow for normal credit card interactions; either payment or crediting the holder's account. There are two types of virtual card—one for one-time use, and one meant for multiple uses.
All cards are given a usable lifetime of between 1 and 12 months. More specifically, they are valid until the end of the month following the one when it is requested/issued. The great advantage of MB NET is that the customer's real payment details are never known to the vendor and the card's limit can be 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 hence made safer.
Registration to use MB NET is required. To do so, one must go to a Multibanco ATM or one's home banking website (if the bank allows that operation on such a medium). The client sets a password but the username is given by the system. Registration links the MB NET service to a debit or credit card of one of the SIBS associated banking institutions that support it.
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 through their own bank site, enabling online banking which has been active since 2000.
Notes and references
- "Multibanco português é dos mais avançados do mundo" (in Portuguese). 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 equipment, but also for the enormous amount of functionalities available.). Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
- "Multibanco: ATM Network". SIBS. Archived from the original on 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
- "ATM Network: Operations". SIBS. Archived from the original on 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
- Includes cash withdrawals, deposits, account and transfers checking, payments and "other operations"
- "ATM Network: Userful Information". SIBS. Archived from the original on 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
- "ATM Network: FAQs". SIBS. Archived from the original on 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
- "Clientebancario.com - posse de notas tintadas". (Portuguese)
- "SIBS: MB PHONE". SIBS. Retrieved 2010-07-07.
- "SIC Online: Nova imagem e mais serviços". SIC. Retrieved 2010-07-07.
- "SIBS: Operações MB PHONE". SIBS. Retrieved 2010-07-07.
- "SIBS: Estatísticas MB PHONE". SIBS. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
- "SIBS: MB NET". SIBS. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
- "SIBS: Estatísticas MB NET". SIBS. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
- "Multibanco: Others". SIBS. Archived from the original on 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2006-12-19.