Almost 60 years since the invention of the ATM, or “automated teller machine”as the word moves to be more cashless they are now in decline, but would you believe there are still countries that do not have them. So, which countries do not have ATM’s?
To put this list together we will cover countries that do not have any ATM’s, which is relatively few, but also countries where the ATM indeed exists, but for whatever reason, normally sanctions they do not have ATMs that are connected to the world, or rather the SWIFT network.
Which countries do not have ATMs at all?
A nice easy and unsurprising one! There are no ATMs in North Korea and people receive their salaries in cash usually. There have been stories about ATMs being launched, but I have certainly not seen one.Credit cards are also not accepted, but you can get a cash advance on UnionPay at the Emperor Hotel and Casino in Rason. You can also get a North Korean debit card, which of course we have!
To read about the Rason SEZ click here.
One of if not my favourite country. There are no ATMs in Tuvalu, or at least Funafuti. There is though one bank branch where you can get cash advances and change money. We forgive them as they let you drive on their airport runway.
They do not have ATMs in Eritrea
The North Korea of Africa? While we do not totally agree with this, when it comes to banking it is at least true. You will need to take cash to Eritrea and you can forget using Visa or Mastercard!
Check out our Horn of Africa tour here
And Cuba is not on this list! Cuba has ATMs for local money, as well as international ones, although you cannot use one issued by an American bank.
Yes we know its not a country, but still counts on our list as it is the only part of Yemen you can actually go to properly. No ATM’s, but they do got Western Union.
Countries that do not have ATMs that are any use
So, for this section it mostly covers nations that are sanctioned. Most of these have a local network of sorts.
One for the nerds to say it isn’t a country. Fun fact, it is, it is just not recognized. They actually have their own banking network and ATM cards for the Transnsitrian Rouble. There is also one ATM where Russian roubles can be withdrawn using visa, or Mastercard, but whether this works now I do not know. When I lived there getting cash meant going to Sheriff filling out a form and getting a cash advance on my card.
To read bout living in a Soviet Time Warp click here .
Again have a local network, but due to sanctions you cannot use Visa, MasterCard, or even UnionPay. When you visit Syria you bring cash.
To read about our Syria Tours click here.
Sudan and Bir Tawil
ATMs are everywhere in Sudan, but sadly of no use to us as the country is so bogged down by sanctions. There is though one ATM at the Gaddafi Egg that dishes out cash via Visa and MasterCard, which we found actually worked.
To read about the Gaddafi Egg click here.
And as for Bir Tawil – of course they don’t have any ATM’s, but there are some money receiving facilities in Bir Tawil town as we christened it.
To read about Bir Tawil town click here
No ATMs in Russia?
Russia of course has ATMs, but they sneak onto the list because due to the war in Ukraine visa and MasterCard left. The Russian debit card system still works though and UnionPay of China have also stepped in to fill the void to some extent.