For first time expats, moving into Mozambique can be a process as there are many aspects of daily life that we don’t really think of until we need to address them.
Banking services is certainly one of these aspects. From simple tasks such as everyday shopping to the sometimes-new habit of managing different currencies, there is certainly a learning curve to those moving to the “Land of good people”. For that reason, we teamed up with Millennium bim Bank, an institution we are very familiar with, to create a six-chapter series on the basics of banking in Mozambique to help you settle in. Welcome to Understanding – Expat Mozambique.
Chapter 1: How to open a bank account
Opening a bank account is different all over the world. In America you can walk in a branch for the first time and out with a debit card within an hour, while in most traditional banks in the UK it may take you a good week just to get an initial appointment.
Thankfully in Mozambique, at least at Millennium bim things tend to be a bit on the practical side.
You don’t need to be a resident to open an account, however you do need to have a NUIT – “Número Único de Identificação Tributaria” which literally translates into “Unique Tax Identification Number” in order words, you need to have a Tax ID. If you don’t have a NUIT, you can apply for one at a local Tax authority office. You can also find some very useful information on the NUIT page of their official website (in English and Portuguese).
If you are coming in to work in the country, you will need to bring your work contract or your pay slips. If you are self-employed, you will need to bring a statement indicating the nature of your business and your income.
In case you are not a resident, make sure you ask your bank at your home country for a letter of reference as it is mandatory to open the account (in Portuguese this is called “Carta Abonatória”). You will also need to sign a form authorising Millennium bim to contact your bank back home for references and a declaration stating your status as a non-resident, but the bank will provide you with all that.
Once you have all your documents in order, you just have to go to one of the many Millennium bim branchs (it should not be hard, there are some 200 of them and some even open on Saturdays). You will find people who speak English pretty much on every branch, however, If you are in Maputo, I would recommend the branch at their headquarters downtown at the JAT complex.
Keep in mind that in Mozambique you can keep balances in multiple currency denominations – but that’s our next chapter, so stay tuned.