FBC Bank has sent a public notice announcing that people can now open bank accounts using their phones. The process should work on any phone. You can either follow the required steps using USSD or use their iOS or Android apps. This will allow prospective account holders to open their bank accounts from the comfort of their own homes. As we go through another lockdown this can prove to be a life-saver move.

2021 is proving to be just as unusual as 2020. The new normal is that people have to live with regular lockdowns. In order to stay relevant banks are coming up with ways to make sure that their existing customers are catered for even as we live through he COVID-19 pandemic. Now FBC is by no means the first company to introduce such as service. Steward Bank already allows customers to open a bank account using their phones. BancABC also has their famous Branch X which allows you to sign up for their prepaid Visa Card via WhatsApp.

How to open an account with FBC using your phone

You need to make a choice on what method you are going to use. Customers have three options:

  • Using USSD which should work on pretty much any phone including feature phones (kambudzi).
    • To use this method you just dial *220#
    • Now if you already have an account with FBC this will not work as you will be asked to enter your usual pin
    • If you are not registered you will have to select option 3 “Apply for an Account” and follow the ensuing prompts
  • If you are like me and hate the annoying limitations of USSD you can just use their Android App instead. You will need data for this to work but the process is likely to be much more pleasant this way.
  • Those iPhone users, a minority, are not forgotten. They can download the FBC banking app in the Appstore and apply using data too.

These days you need a bank account in addition to an Ecocash account. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe neutered Ecocash to the point of making it useless except for the most basic transactions. ZIPIT is an able substitute especially as the platform’s creators have been working hard to enhance functionality. In some stores, you can now pay merchants using ZIPIT in lieu of swipe.