Zambia: 5 Top Cell Phone Banking Services.

March 4, 2010  |  Mobile  |  ,

Cell Phones have evolved from typical voice to voice communication devices to ones that provide several types of services through various mobile applications software. In Africa, cell phone banking services is a huge thing just like the dot com business was in its boom days. It’s literally changed the way people interact & do business, most importantly it’s given a chance to the millions of people that would otherwise not have dreamt of opening up a bank account in their entire life.

Check out random facts before we assess Zambia’s situation:

  • It’s believed that mobile phone banking solutions have helped reduce the cost of access to financial services for 2.3 billion people in the world who live on less than $2 per day and cannot afford formal financial services.
  • It has been estimated that there are a billion people around the world who lack a bank account but own a mobile [BBC].
  • In Tanzania just 5% of the population have bank accounts. In Ethiopia there is one bank for every 100,000 people. Even Africans with bank accounts often face high charges for moving their cash around. It is this gap in the market that mobile phone banking has targeted.
  • African technology is arguably the quickest growing in the world, due to the explosion in mobile phone usage – to 100 + million users today from just 1 million in 1996.

[vid] Proof – how this makes a difference:

  • Check out this amazing video ‘the difference we make’ here.

1. Celpay

Celpay, owned by First Rand Bank in South Africa, offers mobile-banking solutions in Zambia that provides its subscribers with inter-bank transfers, airtime vending via its dealer network, mini automated teller machine (ATM) capabilities and cash on delivery with its built-in mobile ordering application. The services are accessed through the use of GSM cell phones and POS devices using mobile operators as the delivery channel. Potential benefits:

  • No monthly fees.
  • No joining fees.
  • Pay for products & services of your choice.
  • Top-up remotely – no need to buy a scratch card from the shop.


2. Mobile Transactions Zambia Limited (MTZL)

MTZL & Celpay are closest business rivalries. MTZL provide financial services and market information for the unbanked but income earning Zambians in a sustainable manner that promotes a competitive environment and an expanding range of services and allows banked institutions to transact and engage this market sector. MTZL provides the following services:

  • Cheap mobile money transfers.
  • 1 Account (only need cell phone & sim card).
  • Offers payment services similar to Celpay.


3. Xapit – Zanaco

Xapit promises to carter to those customers that are always on the move. The cell phone banking facility was launched to the public after the initial introduction to existing account holders at the National Agricultural Show. Benefits are as follows:

  • Check your account balance.
  • Transfer funds.
  • Top up air-time & Pay utility bills.
  • Withdraw cash from any visa electrom ATM worldwide without having to go to the bank.


4.StanChart [Z]

Standard Chartered’s way of phone banking is by way of asking customers to ring the branch between 8am to 5pm to inquire about certain services. Not so much of a big deal, because most banks have a policy where you can ring and access limited services upon verifying your credentials.Their services provided include:

  • Get to know the status of your issued cheques.
  • Check Fixed Deposit Rates & Forex rates.
  • Enquire your Account Balance.
  • Request for your bank statement.

Standard Chartered Bank Zambia.

5. First National Bank Zambia (FNB)

This is another wholly South African owned and controlled entity with branches throughout South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. Benefits are:

  • Buy prepaid airtime for yourself or someone else.
  • View a list of your most recent prepaid cellphone airtime purchases.
  • Check balances on one or all of your accounts.
  • Get a mini statement.
  • Transfer money between your own FNB accounts.
  • Make third party payments.
  • Receive real time confirmation of financial transactions (inContact).

Apparently, each of these services described above are charged separately click on the banner below to see the prices.

FNB Zambia

Other Successful Mobile Solutions

Besides Zambia there are many other big players in the cell phone business solutions, of which success stories are an envy to the world. Guessing who these are? Their dominance is so huge that it cannot even be compared to all of the 5 Zambian services put together. These are M-Pesa by & Wizzit a South African-based firm. Others are MTN & Fundamo who have partnered in a deal worth 9.7m USD bringing  Banking Facilities to 80 million mobile subscribers across 21 countries in Africa and Middle-East (expect more on this).

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