5 Top Payment Methods in Portugal 2023: Info for Merchants

Discover the most popular payment methods that you should know about when expanding your business to Portugal, from debit cards to digital wallets.

Portugal has one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, making it an attractive market for all kinds of businesses. But it also has some unique payment methods that you won’t find elsewhere – and it’s essential to understand them if you want to be successful here.

Expanding into Portugal means tapping into a market of more than 10 million people, including both locals and a large population of expats. You don’t want to lose any of that business just because you haven’t done your homework on how they prefer to pay. 

Let’s dive into the most popular payment methods in Portugal, from familiar choices like credit and debit cards to local options like Multibanco and MB Way. If you’ve never heard of the latter, don’t worry – we’ll explain everything you need to know.


5 Top Payment Methods in Portugal

Portugal may be a relatively small country, but it’s full of potential. Both the national GDP and the ecommerce market are increasing at impressive rates. To capitalize on this growth, you’ll need to know the country’s most popular payment methods. Let’s examine each of them.

1. Credit and Debit Cards

Cards are by far the most popular cashless payment method in Portugal, including international cards from Visa and Mastercard. Both credit and debit cards are used, but debit cards are much more common. It’s worth noting that Multibanco cards – which we’ll explain below – can be used as both debit and credit cards.

2. Multibanco

Multibanco is a national system that links more than 25 different Portuguese banks. Anyone with a card from one of these banks has access to all of Multibanco’s benefits. It allows people to perform various operations at a network of over 12,000 ATMs, from buying train tickets to making tax payments. It also works for online and in-store transactions, making it a comprehensive solution for all kinds of payments.

It’s important to note that Multibanco is somewhat synonymous with “paying by card” in Portugal. If you’re at a restaurant, the waiter will likely ask if you want to pay with cash or Multibanco. This demonstrates its high market saturation, as well as the fact that many places only accept card payments from Multibanco cards – not international ones.

3. MB Way

MB Way is one part of the Multibanco system. It’s a digital wallet that allows people to easily pay on mobile devices, online, and in stores via the MB Way app. When paying in person, all the customer has to do is scan a QR code on their phone. They can also make online purchases through the MB NET service, which generates virtual cards.

To make a payment in the MB Way app, the user only needs to enter the phone number linked to the recipient’s account (or choose an existing contact) and the amount they want to send. The major benefit of this system is that it allows people to pay each other instantly. They can easily transfer money from their account to a friend or business’s account in seconds. 

Keep in mind that a Portuguese bank account is required to set up MB Way, so this method is only available for customers in Portugal.

4. Cash

Many people visiting Portugal from other countries are surprised by the fact that cash payments are still common. In fact, some restaurants and shops – especially older ones or those in less-developed areas – only accept cash. 

However, it’s becoming more common for these types of establishments to also offer MB Way as an option, since it doesn’t require a POS terminal. It’s also more likely for this kind of place to accept Multibanco, as opposed to international cards like Visa or Mastercard.

5. PayPal

PayPal is another common payment method in Portugal, although it’s not as popular as MB Way. That said, it’s still a good idea to offer it as an option. The advantage of this digital wallet is that it’s used across the globe, so your customers in other countries can use it as well. 

PayPal is highly secure and easy to use for both customers and merchants. All the customer has to do is create an account and connect it to their bank. On the merchant side, accepting payments via PayPal is exactly the same whether your customers are located in Portugal or any other country.

The Best Way to Accept Global Payments

When expanding your business internationally, you need to be able to process global payments and accept a wide variety of payment methods – including country-specific options. 

Pay.com is the ideal solution for accepting payments from Portugal, with support for international cards, digital wallets, and a variety of other payment methods. It’s also highly secure, with Level 1 PCI DSS compliance and 3DS2 authentication to protect your business from international credit card fraud.

To incorporate our components into your existing system, you can integrate with our API. You’ll have full visibility into all of your payments through the intuitive Pay Dashboard. Whether you’re focusing specifically on Portugal or it’s just one part of a larger expansion plan, Pay.com can meet your global payment needs. 

Click here to get started with Pay.com now!

The Bottom Line

International cards and online wallets like PayPal are common in Portugal, along with some unique local payment methods. Offering a variety of payment options to your Portuguese customers will help you reach as many people as possible. 

Pay.com supports all the most popular international payment methods, as well as a range of alternative options. This means you can expand your operations to Portugal without having to make any special arrangements – so you can focus on your business instead. 

Click here to create your Pay.com account now.


How can my business accept payments from Portugal?

Pay.com allows you to easily accept payments from Portugal, whether by credit card, debit card, or a digital wallet. It supports a wide variety of payment methods, so you can cater to Portuguese customers without having to change anything. Click here to get started now!

What is the most used payment method in Portugal?

Cards are the most used payment method in Portugal, and debit cards are more popular than credit cards. Common card brands include Visa and Mastercard, but the vast majority of Portuguese cards also belong to the Multibanco network. This means customers can use them as either debit or credit cards, and take advantage of several other benefits.

Is Apple Pay common in Portugal?

Apple Pay is widely available throughout Portugal, although it’s not as popular here as it is in some other countries. It arrived relatively recently, and although it’s an option pretty much everywhere, most Portuguese customers still prefer to pay by card, cash, or MB Way.

What's the safest way to accept payments from Portugal?

The safest way to accept payments from Portugal is by using Pay.com. We use tokenization to keep customers’ data secure, as well as 3DS2 authentication. We also have Level 1 PCI DSS compliance, which is the highest level possible – so you can be absolutely sure that your payments are in good hands.

Meet the author
Melissa Haun
Melissa Haun is a freelance writer, editor, and translator with a special interest in fintech. She lives in Lisbon, Portugal, where she spends as much time as humanly possible in the ocean.
The Best Way to Accept Payments from Portugal

With Pay.com, you can easily accept all kinds of payments from Portugal. Whether your Portuguese customers want to pay with a credit card, debit card, or digital wallet, we’ve got you covered. 

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