The two largest Mozambican high street banks, Barclays and Millennium BIM, have introduced withdrawal fees for people using foreign cards at their ATMs across Mozambique.
Barclays charges a flat fee of MZM130 (R26 or $1.9) and Millennium BIM charges MZM150 (R30 or $2.1).
The fee is per withdrawal and is not a percentage of the sum withdrawn and only applies to cash withdrawals at ATMs and not on retail purchase transactions at POS machines.
The charges do not apply to cardholders of other Mozambican banks.
If the estimated two million foreign visitors to Mozambique this year use ATMs an average of four times, this could represent a potential $8million windfall for the participating banks.
The two other major high street banks in Mozambique – Standard Bank and BCI – have not implemented a charge.
This international card user penalty seems to have originated in neighbouring South Africa, where many banks instituted a R30 withdrawal penalty on overseas cards in mid-2015.
Most operators discourage visitors to Mozambique from carrying large sums of foreign or local currency as many tours are fully inclusive and POS chip and PIN machines are widely available at restaurants, supermarkets, lodges and hotels throughout the country.
International arrivals into Mozambique have declined 20%, from two million to 1.6 million over the past five years, according to latest government data.