Mobile Banking in Zambia: A Short Comparison

Barclays AdWith the festive season around the corner, people are preoccupied with buying presents for their loved ones, planning holiday trips or hunting for the next best shopping deal.

Inevitably, banking services are central to all these activities.  During this busy period of the year, as employers and various business houses scramble to meet their end of year deadlines, it seems almost impossible to find the spare time to go and bank comfortably. How annoying is it to leave the bank and realize hours later that there is something you forgot to do? Like finding those long meandering queues isn’t frustrating enough.

Therefore, it is safe to say that Barclays Bank Zambia could not have advertised their mobile banking application at a better time than now. The app is free to download from the App Store or Google Play. All you have to do is, search for “Barclays Zambia”. Login requires your Barclays internet banking information which you received when you registered for online banking. Additionally, make sure you’ve got sufficient internet data on your phone before attempting to download the app; otherwise, it just won’t work. With the mobile app you can now add banking to the list of things your can now safely, easily and securely do from the comfort of your smartphone.

Embracing smartphone access is not a new phenomenon among financial institutions. In an increased effort to attract and retain customers on the go, many banks around the world have developed custom mobile applications. However, with most advantages come disadvantages. Although, Barclays Bank Zambia claims that their app is 100% secure, security concerns are still the biggest obstacle to mobile banking. There are issues like security breaches that could arise through mobile banking, including hacking, identity theft and malware threats.

Nonetheless, it is possible to safeguard your privacy and protect yourself from bank fraud by utilizing certain useful security shields. For example, installing anti-virus and anti-hacking software, creating a password code to unlock your phone and make certain your bank account is logged off, avoiding public Wi-Fi networks, setting up daily alerts that track account activity and using only encrypted sites for transactions, never sharing bank information through texts and refrain from accessing a bank Web site through e-mail links. Protecting against hackers and identity thieves is more critical than ever considering the recent news over bank fraud in Zambia.

Below, Table 1 displays the electronic banking services that some financial institutions in Zambia offer.

Table 1: A Comparison of Mobile and Internet Banking Services in Zambia*

Financial Institution Mobile Phone Access Internet Access
USSD Desktop/laptop iOS Android BlackBerry
First National Bank (FNB) y y y y y
Barclays Bank y y y y n
Zanaco y y n n n
Investrust y n n n n
Standard Chatered y y n n n
StanBic n y n n n
Cavmont n y n n n
Ecobank y y n n n
UBA y y n n n
Access Bank y y n n n

At the moment, FNB Zambia, leads in the number of platform that can be used for Banking and Payments, with all OSs covered for apps, online banking on web, mobi sites and cellphone banking via USSD. We hope, the flagship features from the South African market will come to Zambia, as more and more people want to do more on their mobiles.



*The table is subject to updates as banks continue upgrading their electronic access platforms.