Cyprus Currency

The currency of the Republic of Cyprus is the Euro (€). It is divided into 100 Euro cents.
Cyprus switched to the Euro on January 1st, 2008. Prior to that, it had been using the Cypriot Pound as its currency.

Notes and coins currently in circulation are as follows:

Banknotes: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500.
Coins: 1 cent, 2 cent, 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, 1 euro and 2 euro.

The Cypriot Pound
The British introduced the pound sterling unit to Cyprus in 1879 at a rate of one to 180 Turkish piastres. It remained equal in value to the pound sterling until 1972 and was initially divided into 20 shillings. The shilling was divided into 9 piastres (or grosia), thus establishing a nomenclature link to the previous currency. The piastre was itself divided into 40 para. The para denomination did not appear on any coins or banknotes but was used on postage stamps.

The Cyprus Pound
In 1955, Cyprus decimalized with 1000 mils to the pound. Colloquially, the 5 mil coin was known as a "piastre" (not an exact equivalence) and the 50 mil coin as a "shilling" (an exact equivalence). The subdivision was changed to 100 cents to the pound in 1983. At that time, the smallest coin still in circulation was that of 5 mils. This was renamed as ½ cent, but soon was abolished. Mil-denominated coins are no longer legal tender.

The coins of the Cyprus Pound
Towards the end of the Cypriot pound era some cashiers omitted the 1 and 2 cent coins from the change they gave. Many owner operated businesses, though, often rounded down the net amount to be paid to the nearest multiple of 5 cents.

Introduction of the Euro
The Cypriot pound was replaced by the euro as official currency of the Republic of Cyprus on 1 January 2008 at the irrevocable fixed exchange rate of 0.585274 CYP per 1 euro. However, pound banknotes and coins continued to have legal tender status and were accepted for cash payments until 31 January 2008.
The Cyprus Euro coins
Cypriot pounds were convertible free of charge at Cypriot credit institutions until 30 June 2008. CYP coins were convertible at the Central Bank of Cyprus until 31 December 2009 and CYP banknotes will be convertible until 31 December 2017.

Banking hours for the public:

1 October to 30 April
Monday - Friday 7:30 - 14:30
Monday afternoon 15:00 - 18:00

1 May to 30 September
Monday - Friday 7:30 - 14:30

Cash Section opening hours:

1 October to 30 April
Monday - Friday 8:30 - 13:30
Monday afternoon 15:15 - 16:45

1 May to 30 September
Monday - Friday 8:15 - 13:30

The Bank is closed every Saturday and every Sunday.

Public Holidays
The days listed below are public holidays in Cyprus. All public services, private enterprises, banks and shops are closed on public holidays though many shops and certain services remain open in resorts and coastal areas. Banks are closed on Easter Tuesday but not on Christmas Eve.

- January 1st - New Year's Day
- January 6th - Epiphany Day
- March 25th - Greek National Day
- April 1st - National Anniversary Day
- May 1st - Labour Day
- August 15th - Assumption of the Virgin Mary
- October 1st - Cyprus Independence Day
- October 28th - Greek National Anniversary Day
- December 24th - Christmas Eve
- December 25th - Christmas Day
- December 26th - Boxing Day
- Variable - Green Monday (50 Days before Greek Orthodox Easter)
- Variable - Good Friday (Greek Orthodox Church)
- Variable - Easter Monday (Greek Orthodox Church)
- Variable - Pentecost - Kataklysmos (Festival of the Flood)

ATMs are as popular among Cypriots as they are among international visitors. ATMs are generally a convenient way to get cash at any time of the day, and the safest way to store your hard-earned dollars, pounds or euros until you need them.

Most banks now allow you to access your regular bank account directly from an overseas ATM, although in some cases you may have to use your credit card to access cash. It is a good idea to transfer some money to your credit card before you leave home. Be aware that your bank may levy a hefty charge each time you withdraw money from an overseas ATM.

You will find ATMs in most towns and in most larger villages throughout the Republic of Cyprus. In Northern Cyprus, ATMs are currently limited to North Nicosia, Famagusta and Kyrenia.

In the Republic, you can get a cash advance on Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Eurocard and American Express at a number of banks, and there are plenty of ATMs. In the North, cash advances are given on Visa cards at the Vakıflar and Kooperatif banks in North Nicosia and Kyrenia; major banks (such as İş Bankası) in large towns will have ATMs.

Having cash is a fail-safe way to carry money around from one country to another. It is also the least secure method. Once you lose it, it’s gone. It’s a good idea to only carry as much cash as you need for three days or so. However, a safety stash of about €100 sewn into your backpack or suitcase will see you through a temporary cash-flow problem.

Foreign-currency notes may be OK to use in major tourist centres in Cyprus, but are not much use in Troödos Massif villages. In the North, foreign currency is more likely to be widely accepted in lieu of new Turkish lira.

Currency-exchange bureaus in tourist centres operate over extended hours and most weekends.

Credit cards
Just as popular as ATMs, credit cards can be used in stores, restaurants, supermarkets and petrol stations. In the latter, you can even buy petrol after hours with your credit card from automatic dispensers.

The Republic of Cyprus is more credit-card friendly than Northern Cyprus, though the main restaurants, hotels and car-hire companies in the North will happily take plastic.

International transfers
If you need to access your funds, international transfers are possible from your home bank to any of Cyprus’ major banks. While this method is reliable, it is usually slow – taking a week or more – and not helpful if you need a cash infusion quickly. Telegraphic transfers are nominally quicker (and cost more) but can still take up to three working days to come through.

Private financial agencies such as Western Union are usually the best bet, as you can often obtain your transferred money the same day.

JCC Payment Systems

The company has more than 20 years of experience and expertise in the card-processing business. It was created in 1989 following a decision by Cyprus’ two major banking institutions to collaborate for the purpose of administering the processing and settlement of card transactions. Today, JCC's primary role is to provide high quality financial and data infrastructure services to the banking and commercial community in Cyprus. It is a self-sustained company seeking to create value both for its shareholders and for the community it operates in.