Top 4 Best Savings Accounts in Zambia (2020)
Zambia’s Banking sector isn’t very developed compared to other African countries, so there isn’t nearly as many good trustworthy banks to choose from for your savings account. As a result we’ll only be covering 4 savings accounts, the 4 best safest accounts in our opinion that have relatively good interest rates and banking practices.
Due to the economy of Zambia we’d avoid keeping tons of money in Zambian Currency, and would say to limit your savings in Kwacha to <100,000 — maybe even as low as 20,000. If you have more money than that in Zambia we’d opt for investing it in stocks in Zambia and other African countries such as Nigeria or South Africa which have stocks that earn revenue and distribute profits from their businesses operating all across Africa. This will protect your from inflation and preserve your wealth better than a savings account.
Our Overall Favorite Account: Baraclays (ABSA) Saving Account
This would be the account we’d say is best for 95% of people in Zambia — they have the most branches/locations of any other bank in Zambia and they are a well-trusted and established bank that has proven it’s self to be trustworthy throughout Africa for many many decades at this point in time.
They also are one of the most transparent banks, being a publicly traded/owned bank, and offer some of the best interest rates of any bank in Zambia. They offer 8%+ on their normal Target Savings Account, as well as rates up to 14% -> 15% on their term deposits and high-networth accounts. These are some of the best in all of Zambia currently, and because of how reputable the bank is I’d say they’re the best overall savings choice for Zambian residents/citizens.
There’s no real downsides to this account — they offer great rates, have relatively competent staff, have locations throughout all of Zambia, and no hidden fees or early withdrawal penalties. Baraclays Bank (now ABSA) savings options are simply the best in Zambia without a doubt in our opinion.
Best High-Yield Everyday Savings: FINCA Saver Account
If you want the absolute highest interest rate on small deposits then this is hands-down the highest yielding trustworthy bank in Zambia that we are aware of — they offer a 10% yield on their regular savings account which has no account minimums or fees.
Overall this isn’t our first choice — and isn’t where we personally keep our money in Zambia — but that’s mostly due to FINCA Branches & locations not being throughout the whole country. We also simply have banked with Baraclays since before FINCA offered this great yield on their account, and thus are already used to and trusting of Barclays — we just don’t feel it’s worth the switch for us at this point, particularly because they do not offer good Mortgage/Home Loan terms like Barclays does.
Overall if you aren’t interested in buying real estate or get more advanced financial products like credit cards, then FINCA is a great account if you live in Lusaka where most of their branches/locations are. But if you may want to buy real estate soon, or are outside of Lusaka then I’d definitely opt for banking with Barclays.
Good Overall Savings Account: FAB's Sungako Kandalama Savings
While the interest rate they provide aren’t as good as the above two options, they do have a relatively transparent and good financial history which makes me believe this account is safer than most banks in Zambia — and probably our 2nd or 3rd choice to put our savings in Zambia.
First Alliance Bank’s Sungako Kandalama Savings Account offers around 6% -> 7% per year in interest, which is relatively standard for most banks in Zambia, however not as good as some other banks such as Baraclays (ABSA) or FINCA.
FAB doesn’t have many branch in more rural places throughout Zambia however, so if you’re outside Lusaka, Kitwe, or Ndola, then you should probably choose another bank so you don’t have to travel so far for your banking needs.
Decent Overall Savings Account: AB Bank's Savings Account
AB Bank only really operates in the Capital City of Zambia (Lusaka), so if you do not live in Lusaka you shouldn’t bank with them in our opinion. If you do however live in Lusaka, like most Zambians, then they’re an overall decent choice to bank with. They offer around a 6% yield on their savings account per year, which is pretty standard for most banks in Zambia — a little on the low side.
The real reason you’d pick this account is if you want a simple bank that allows for very small deposits, as you can open an account with a little as 30 Kwacha. AB Bank is much less bureaucratic than other banks, so they don’t offer many fancy things like credit cards or different loan products — they only offer normal bank accounts, savings accounts, and micro-finance loans to personal businesses you own and operate (generally we would say to avoid these, however the 12 month term ones are generally relatively fair in pricing terms).
They’re relatively transparent and are publicly owned — which is why we included them in this list of the best bank accounts in Zambia. We’d trust keeping our savings in an account with them — although they wouldn’t be our first choice as we’d rather bank with Baraclays (ABSA) due to their better interest rates and better technology/mobile banking aspects.