Multibanco in Portugal celebrates 30th anniversary

Tomorrow, it will be 30 years since the first Multibanco machines came into operation in Portugal.

SIC TV news has been looking back on the development that has been simplifying the lives of millions ever since.

In 1985, there were only nine machines nationwide, all based in Lisbon and Porto. Now there are 13,000, which puts Portugal as the country with the world’s most Multibanco machines per capita.

SIC has been explaining the changes that have taken place since the first machines “now museum pieces” were made. They have been replaced by 18 different models, and many more are in the pipeline.

Maria Antónia Saldanha, Communications director for SIBS, the company operating the Multibanco network, said machines that give small change, as well as make “intelligent deposits” are on the horizon.

“Intelligent deposits” will allow people to pay in to their own accounts with notes that are duly scanned for counterfeiting, and once passed, these notes will then be available for other Multibanco users who want to make withdrawals.

The new system will thus make Multibanco stations “more sustainable”.

Other imminent developments include a bar-code reader within the machine to enable users to pay bills even more easily than they do now.

As SIC’s news anchor explained, the Multibanco machine has led to Portugal’s “plastic” revolution that now sees over 19 million credit and debit cards in national circulation – a number that corresponds to two cards per person.

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