Banking, Money and Taxes in Zambia

Zambia’s banking system has become more competitive in recent years, with both local and international banks offering a range of services to both Zambians and expats alike.


Money in Zambia

The national currency is the Zambian Kwacha (ZMW) which is subdivided into 100 ngwee. The kwacha is available in the following denominations:

  • Notes: 2 ZMW, 5 ZMW, 10 ZMW, 20 ZMW, 50 ZMW and 100 ZMW

  • Coins: 5, 10 and 50 ngwee and 1 ZMW


Banking in Zambia

There are a number of banks in Zambia for expats to choose from, including both local and international options. Mobile and online banking services are available at most banks in Zambia.

Opening a bank account in Zambia

While it is possible to open a bank account in Zambia, many expats maintain an account in their own country. If opening a local account, it may be safer and easier to use an international bank which has a branch in the country.

Exchanging money

Foreign currency exchange can be expensive in Zambian bureaux de change. It's important not to change money on the streets, as many of these operations are part of a scam and unsuspecting expats risk being ripped off.

ATMS and credit cards

There are plenty of ATMs in the main cities such as Lusaka and Livingstone, but very few in the rural areas. Don’t count on a particular ATM working. It’s worth planning expenditure ahead of time because of this unreliability.

While Zambia remains a largely cash society, credit cards are accepted at most large establishments in Zambian cities.


Taxes in Zambia

Income taxes in Zambia are implemented along a progressive scale from 0 to 37.5 percent, depending on income and resident status. Corporate tax is higher, and there is a specialised mining tax.

Tax regulations in Zambia are subject to change and expats should enlist the services of a registered tax consultant to assist them with their Zambian taxes. 

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