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.
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.
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.
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.
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.