The banking sector in Mozambique has faced many challenges in recent years. However, it does seem like things are looking up. Still, expats moving to Mozambique will find that banking, money and taxes do not work as smoothly as they do in most Western countries. As the country is notably underdeveloped, ease and accessibility of banking is hard to find in Mozambique.
Money in Mozambique
The currency of Mozambique is the Metical (MZN) which is divided into 100 centavos. The plural is meticais.
The first metical was introduced in 1980, after Mozambique gained independence. The second metical was introduced in 2006. This led to the first metical being phased out by 2012. The currency is abbreviated to MT, which precedes the amount.
Notes: 20 MZN, 50 MZN, 100 MZN, 200 MZN, 500 MZN, and 1,000 MZN
Coins: 1 MZN, 2 MZN, 5 MZN, 10 MZN and 50 centavos
Both South African rands (ZAR) and United States dollars (USD) are also widely used in Mozambique.
Banking in Mozambique
There are a number of banks in Mozambique. International banks like Barclays Bank, and a few South African banks like First National Bank Mozambique and Standard Bank, operate here. Most of the head offices are located in Maputo, with branches spread out across the country. Withdrawing large amounts of currency out of a Mozambican bank account can prove to be difficult. Expats often choose to keep a non-Mozambican bank account for working with larger sums of money.
Opening a bank account
Banks in Mozambique are open from Mondays to Fridays between 8am and 3pm. Non-residents are able to open a bank account. Expats will need a number of documents depending on the bank they choose. Services provided will range considerably, but most banks do offer some form of internet banking. Credit cards aren’t widely used or issued in Mozambique.
ATMs are easy to find in the capital, Maputo. Most ATMs have limits on how much money can be withdrawn in a single transaction. There are also limits on the amount that can be withdrawn throughout the day. ATMs are scarce outside of Maputo and have a tendency to run out of cash. Mozambican ATMs aren’t all that reliable and are frequently offline. Expats are advised to always carry some cash on them.
ATMs will generally accept international debit and credit cards alongside local cards. Most banks charge a transaction fee for international withdrawals. However, some have partnerships with local Mozambican banks to waive these fees.
Taxes in Mozambique
If a person is considered a resident in Mozambique, they are eligible to pay tax. For tax purposes, a resident is classified as a person who has lived in Mozambique for at least 180 days during a 12-month period. These persons are charged income tax if their salaries exceed a certain amount. The percentage charged depends on annual income.
Are you an expat living in Mozambique?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Mozambique. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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