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Brazil and Japan are among a few countries where most ATMs don’t play nice with foreign ATM or debit cards. Add Uganda to the list.
I needed local cash in Jinja, Uganda and did not want to wait through long lines to get to a counter to exchange cash.
I set out along the main drag, stopping first at Tropical Bank. My withdrawal appeared to be processing and then canceled.
Next to Bank of Africa. Card rejected outright.
Then Pride Spot. Same.
I called my bank and the only one they saw was Tropical Bank, which was debited and then immediately re-credited. The others never went through at all. No fraud issue on my card.
Then to Standard Chartered, a UK-based bank. Rejected again. There was no line and a helpful teller claimed that that issue is that Ugandan banks issue debit cards with numbers printed on the card rather than raised numbers, so that many ATMs reject cards with raised numbers. Interesting, never heard that idea, and seems odd because the ATMs would either read the magnetic stripe or the chip. She proclaimed, “Stanbic will work.”
I continued up the road and, indeed, Stanbic did work.
I am still skeptical on the raised numbers thing. However if you need cash in Uganda, head for Stanbic.
In this series:
- Uganda Visa on Arrival
- Rwanda New Visa on Arrival Process
- The East Africa Borderless Visa for Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda
- Burundi Visa on Arrival
- Tanzania Transit Visa Often Beats Tourist Visa
- ATMs in Uganda – Stanbic When All Else Fails
- More to come…