banking georgia

BANKING

Currency

The only legal means of payment in Georgia is Georgian Lari (GEL), simply called Lari. Lari’s banknotes are printed in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. Also 1 and 2 Lari coins are in circulation. 1 Lari is equal of 100 Tetri. There are six different denominations of Tetri coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50.

The origin of the term Lari and Tetri comes from old Georgian. Lari is an old Georgian word denoting a hoard or property, and Tetri is an old Georgian monetary term used since the 13th century.

Banks

There are many banks and exchange desks at your disposal for exchanging currencies. You can find them in airports, city centres and stations. ATM machines are accessible throughout the country. Banks are usually open between 10:00 – 17:30 on weekdays and 10:00-14:00 on Saturdays, some branches are open 24h.

The National Bank of Georgia is the Government Central Bank, which regulates banking policy and issues currency. There are number of Georgian and International Banks providing private banking services.

Payment Cards

Banks in Georgia issue various categories of Visa-card, MasterCard, American Express, other local cards and contactless cards. Payment cards are acceptable in most of the places. You can pay with a contactless card in public transport, grocery stores, merchant outlets, cafeterias and fast food restaurants, pharmacies, etc. Remote services, mobile and internet banking are widely used in Georgia.