This is an easy one - don't bank in Afghanistan. Some of us started to put funds in the bank, but all my friends and I have withdrawn any funds we have. Back to money stuffed in plastic bags under the mattress (sarcasm).
Most people coming here are with a business or NGO. It is highly advised to try to run funds through those offices, which is normal, and avoid Afghanistan banks. Now there might be people reading this who have had success, but there is just a lot of danger and risk associated with handling money through an Afghan bank.
So how can you handle money if you are not here with an office which can supply your funds?
- There are ATM machines in several locations in the big cities, but use these at your own risk - they are watched. The mafia here is dangerous to your health and well-being.
- Try to handle as many things as possible through secure internet banking.
- Make sure your cash is newer and crisp - the money changers do not like old money.
- Just have what you need
- Make sure to never discuss money and amounts on the phone - cell phones are not secure. Kidnapping is a lucrative business in Afghanistan, and the kidnappers are ruthless.
I'll be adding more articles in the guide! If you have a good experience with Afghan banks, I'm interested to read it and change my opinion.
For a little cultural information, read: www.about-afghanistan.com/afghanistan-currency.html where I explain the money (Afghani) a bit.