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.
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.
►For more on managing your finances in Zambia, see Cost of Living in Zambia.
Are you an expat living in Zambia?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Zambia. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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