Banking in Vanuatu
Guide to Banking and Currency in
When planning a trip to Vanuatu, you
should become educated about the local currency and banking customs. The local currency in Vanuatu is the Vatu. The
symbol for this currency is VT. International currency symbol for vatu is VUV.
There are a variety of different denominations including the 200 VT,
500 VT and 1,000 VT. There is also a 5,000 vatu as well as a variety of different coins that range from one to
100 Vanuatu vatu pieces.
Exchange facilities and
Major credit cards are usually accepted in Port Vila and Luganville
Ideally, it is best to wait until you have reached your actual
destination in order to change your money
or traveler’s checks. You will often be able to obtain better rates at one of the banks in cities like Port Vila than trying to
exchange your money at the airport. There are exchange facilities available at almost all of the banks as well as a
variety of kiosks in Port Vila.
In addition, there are numerous ATMs that accept most
international cards situated throughout Port Vila. The typical banking hours are 8am to 4pm on weekdays.
Australian dollars are
In addition to the Vatu, Australian dollars are accepted widely
throughout Port Vila. Traveler’s checks are also
widely accepted throughout the islands. Visitors will find that most major debit cards and credit cards are
accepted by most of the businesses in Luganville as well as Port Vila. If you travel into the countryside, it is
best to make sure that you have cash; as many of the businesses there will not accept credit or debit cards. In
addition, while Australian dollars are accepted in the larger cities, it is best to have local currency when
traveling outside the urban centers.
Australian dollars are accepted in Vanuatu urban areas, such as Port Vila
at supermarkets, stores, restaurants and duty free shops.
When dining out, you will discover that tipping is typically not expected in Vanuatu, so you do not need to figure that cost into
your budget. Also, there is no need to worry about bargaining or haggling for prices. Generally, the price you see
or the price you are quoted is the price you can expect to pay for whatever it is that you are
Generally, it is best to try to take smaller amounts of vatu currency
when possible. This is because many of the items and services for which you will pay for will require not more than
a 100 vatu note. Unless you are planning to purchase something expensive, you will typically have no need for
anything higher than a 5,000 vatu note.
See our Vanuatu Guide for more information about Vanuatu, banking, tipping, customs,