Requirements for Opening a Bank Account in Zimbabwe

I recently found myself in a situation where I needed to open a new bank account in Zimbabwe. I needed to receive money from Google AdSense via Wire Transfer and had been advised by my bank, FBC Bank, that the best option for me was the prepaid FBC MasterCard account. This is the cheapest option for wire transfers, since it does not attract a monthly fee. So, what are the requirements for opening a bank account in Zimbabwe? I have noticed that a lot of foreigners want information on how to open a bank account in Zimbabwe. I suppose, they are business people who are looking to invest in the country. Anyway….

What you need to open a bank account in Zimbabwe

In order to open a bank account in Zimbabwe, you need the following;

  1. A copy of your national identity document or valid passport.
  2. One passport sized photo.
  3. Proof of residence such as a Harare City Council water bill within the previous three months.
  4. Proof of income.

Proof of Residence

The proof of residence is where I almost got stuck. You see, ZESA no longer delivers electricity bills. And Harare City Council no longer delivers bills on time. When I checked, I only had a water bill from 6 months back. I decided to wait and was happy when a new bill was delivered a week later. All this happiness turned to pain when I discovered that the bill was from September 2019, which was more than 3 months back.

Another thing that you need to note with regard to the proof of residence is that it needs to be in your name. If it’s in your mother’s name like mine was, then you need an affidavit stating that indeed, you are her son and you live in her home. Now, my mother has retired to the rural areas so that situation turned rather interesting.

Anyway, I was finally able to go to FBC bank to open my account. Note that the requirements that are given above for opening a bank account in Zimbabwe are pretty universal for all banks. Indeed, they are almost universal for all countries. You can check out what I mean by reading the requirements for foreigners to open bank accounts in South Africa.

I pretended when I opened my account, not to have noticed that the water bill had gone beyond the required three months. Anyway, the bank called me a day later and I discovered that I was not a thief after all. I had to go somewhere to buy ZESA so that I could use the receipt as proof of residence.

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