|The pataca (MOP) has been the legal tender in Macau for almost a century. In 1905, the Macau Government granted the Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU) the exclusive right to issue banknotes in pataca denominations. The first batch of pataca banknotes was circulated in Macau on January 27, 1906. The name "pataca" was derived from the then popular silver coin in Asia, the Mexican eight Reales, known in Portuguese as the Pataca Mexicana.|
At the time of the first issuance, the denomination only came with 1 Pataca, 5 Patacas, 10 Patacas, 25 Patacas, 50 Patacas, and 100 Patacas, with the 20 Cents coin from Canton Province. Later, Macau began issuing 5 Avos, 10 Avos, and 50 Avos in February 1920. Not until 1942, Macau issued smaller denomination like 1 Avo, 5 Avos, and 20 Avos.
The first Macau coins went into public in June 1952. The face value were 5 Patacas, 1 Pataca, 50 Avos, 10 Avos, and 5 Avos.
In 1980, the Government transferred the exclusive right to issue patacas from the BNU to the IEM. The BNU has continued to issue pataca banknote though its status has been altered to the agent bank of the IEM.
Before 1988, the largest denomination was 500 Patacas. Due to circulation needs, the new 1000 Patacas notes were put into the market. The new note comes with yellow color in underprint, a traditional Chinese dragon on obverse, Macau city view on reverse, and Chinese junk watermark. The date printed was Augest 8th 1988. Because 8 in Chinese (Ba) is similar to "wealth" (Fa), this unique date which occurs only once per century carries a special meaning to the note. Another feature is the replacement of Portuguese Coat of Arm with BNU's logo, symbolizing the fact that Mauca is part of China.
When the Government renewed its note issuance agreement with the BNU on October 16, 1995, the Bank of China (Macau Branch) became the second note-issuing bank. With the establishment of the AMCM, the authority to issue patacas was transferred to the Portuguese-administered Government and has continued to be vested with the Government of Macau Special Administrative Region after December 20, 1999.
The pataca issue is 100-percent backed by foreign exchange reserves under the currency board system. The note-issuing banks are required to pay the AMCM - the currency board - an equivalent amount of Hong Kong dollars at a fixed rate of HKD1:MOP1.03 for non-interest bearing Certificate of Indebtedness as legal backing for the banknote issues. With a 100 percent reserve backing, the AMCM assures the full convertibility of the Macau pataca into its reserve money, i.e. the Hong Kong dollar. A linked exchange rate relationship with the Hong Kong dollar is correspondingly established under the currency board system. As the Hong Kong dollar is linked to the United States dollar (USD) under parallel arrangements, the pataca is indirectly pegged to the United States dollar at an exchange rate of about USD1:MOP8.