The official currency of Macau (also Macau) is the Pataca. Its ISO code is MOP (ISO-4217), the official abbreviation is: Pat.
Macau, as a former Portuguese colony near Hong Kong, belongs to the People’s Republic of China as a special administrative region.
The pataca has been the currency in Macau for around 100 years. The Pataca is divided into 100 Avos and since the Pataca is firmly linked to the Hong Kong dollar, it is also indirectly linked to the US dollar.
The Hong Kong dollar (HKD) is preferred to the pataca, especially in the business area. The fixed exchange rate is: 1 euro = 11.145 MOP or 1 HKD = 1.03 MOP.
1 pataca corresponds to 100 avos (Cantonese: “sin”, 10 avos are called “ho”).
The following currencies and denominations are in circulation:
- coins of 10, 20, 50 Avos, and 1, 2, 5 and 10 MOP
- banknotes of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 MOP
History of the Pataca Currency
The history of the pataca goes back to the 19th century. At that time there was no single currency in Macau because the country was a Portuguese colony.
In the economic sector, the Mexican silver dollar, known as pataca, dominated alongside Chinese and British currencies and various currencies from neighboring cantons. The Pataca (MOP) was first introduced in 1984 as a replacement for the Portuguese Real and only in paper form in Macau and Portuguese Timor.
Before the pataca became the official currency around 100 years ago, it was initially only used as a unit of account in commercial and monetary transactions. The Portuguese Overseas National Bank (Banco Nacional Ultramarino) has been issuing pataca notes in Lisbon since 1905.
Since 1995, the Bank of China (Banco da China) has also been allowed to issue pataca. The currency was originally compliant with the Mexican dollar – this explains the name pataca. After all, the Portuguese called the Mexican dollar Pataca Mexicana.
The Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU) agreed with Macau in 2000 that they would be in charge of the treasury of the Macau Special Administrative Region until 2010. The Caixa Geral de Depositos was also integrated into the Banco Nacional Ultramarion in 2001.
In 2001 the Macau branch was incorporated by the government in the special economic zone as Banco Nacional Ultramarion SA, but it remained a 100% subsidiary of Caixa Geral de Depositos.
Exchange into the currency of Macau
The national and foreign currencies can be imported and exported without any problems. A good exchange rate is usually obtained by withdrawing money (in local currency) by credit card from an ATM.