Currency & Banking
The national currency of the Maldives is Rufiyaa. Previously MRF and Rf was used as the symbol for Rufiyaa. However, currently the ISO recognised code for Rufiyaa is MVR. One Rufiyaa is subdivided into hundred laaris (cents). Presently 1 US Dollar is equivalent to MVR 15.42.
Historically the Maldivians used cowry shells as their currency to trade with the outside world. Modern banknotes were first issued in the Maldives on 5th September 1948.
Rufiyaa Banknotes and Coins
There are six distinct denominations of Rufiyaa banknotes presently in circulation. Available denomination of Rufiyaa banknotes includes; MVR 5, MVR 10, MVR 20, MVR 50, MVR 100 and MVR 500. The design of the Rufiyaa banknotes depicts drawings of coconuts, Maldivian boats, and historical buildings.
There are seven denominations of Rufiyaa coins. Available denominations of Rufiyaa coins include; MVR 2, MVR 1, 50 Laari, 25 Laari, 10 Laari, 5 Laari and 1 Laari. The coins depict sketches of National Emblem, conch shell, turtle, Friday Mosque, sailing boat, tuna fish, and palm tree.
Buying Maldivian Rufiyaa
Most currencies can be exchanged to Maldivian Rufiyaa through banks and licensed Money Exchangers. Money exchanging services is provided round-the-clock at the arrival terminal in Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (MLE).
Most commonly used International currencies in the Maldives includes; US Dollar, Pound Sterling and Euros. Most of the resort islands, liveaboards, hotels, restaurants, travel agents and souvenir shops accept foreign currency and credit card payments.
Banks and Credit Cards
The Maldives Monetary Authority acts as the Central Bank of the country. The Bank of Maldives, having branches across the country is the National Bank of the Maldives. Other reputed local and International Banks also operate in the country.
The normal banking hours are generally from Sunday to Thursday 08:00hrs-15:00hrs. Most Banks are closed on weekends, public and bank holidays. Local and International Banks provide ATM services to customers. Local Banks may charge a nominal fee for ATM transactions involving International Credit Cards.
Major International Credit Cards like American Express, Visa Card, Master Card and JCB Card can be used in the Maldives for financial transactions.
Visit this link to get daily updated exchange rates of major foreign currencies: http://www.bankofmaldives.com.mv/exchange-rates