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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 Interbancária 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.


Multibanco's old logo (1985–2008).

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

In 1995, the network had 3,745 ATMs 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 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Multibanco only allows 400 Euros to be withdrawn daily and three attempts to get the card secret code.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. 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[edit]

Pagamento Automático MB (Automatic Payment)[edit]

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]

MB PHONE[edit]

MB PHONE[11] was launched as TeleMultibanco in 1996 and rebranded to the current designation in 2008.[12] It 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.[13] In 2009, around 3 million transactions[4] were made by the 300,000 cell phone clients using this system.[14]

MB NET[edit]

MB NET allows users to do payments through the Internet and it is directed for online shopping.[15] Over 1 million payments were done using MB NET in 2009.[16] MB NET allows creating virtual credit cards to be used essentially online. 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 MB NET are VISAs. It works on almost all places, including PayPal and all regular places that accept these credit cards as payment.

To generate a virtual credit card one must login at 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 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 card (option 1) or multiple uses cards (option2).

All cards get 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[edit]

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.[17]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "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.). Retrieved 2006-12-19. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Multibanco: ATM Network". SIBS. Archived from the original on 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2006-12-19. 
  3. ^ "ATM Network: Operations". SIBS. Archived from the original on 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2006-12-19. 
  4. ^ a b c d Includes cash withdrawals, deposits, account and transfers checking, payments and "other operations"
  5. ^ "ATM Network" (PDF). SIBS. Retrieved 2006-12-19. [dead link]
  6. ^ "ATM Network: Userful Information". SIBS. Archived from the original on 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2006-12-19. 
  7. ^ "ATM Network: FAQs". SIBS. Archived from the original on 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2006-12-19. 
  8. ^ " - posse de notas tintadas".  (Portuguese)
  9. ^ "Multibanco: EFTPOS Network". SIBS. Archived from the original on 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2006-12-19. 
  10. ^ "EFTPOS Network" (PDF). SIBS. Retrieved 2006-12-19. [dead link]
  11. ^ "SIBS: MB PHONE". SIBS. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  12. ^ "SIC Online: Nova imagem e mais serviços". SIC. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  13. ^ "SIBS: Operações MB PHONE". SIBS. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  14. ^ "SIBS: Estatísticas MB PHONE". SIBS. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  15. ^ "SIBS: MB NET". SIBS. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  16. ^ "SIBS: Estatísticas MB NET". SIBS. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  17. ^ "Multibanco: Others". SIBS. Archived from the original on 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2006-12-19. 

External links[edit]