Today, a debit card that you can use online and when you travel outside Zimbabwe is reasonably within anyone’s reach. It wasn’t always so. Back some 4 years ago, bank cards with with MasterCard or visa logo were for the elite. Actually, just banking itself was for the working minority. When FBC launched a prepaid MasterCard in 2011 therefore, it was quite a big deal. Big in that the card required no bank account – and therefore no ridiculous KYC.
Eventually though, after getting this basic access need, the flaws in that FBC card were obvious. You could only make deposits at FBC itself, and if I’m not mistaken, at one point, only at a certain branch! So funding the card meant being in time for banking hours. It’s this, mainly, that Econet heavily disrupted with the introduction of the mobile wallet based MasterCard.
It was such a pleasure therefore when I learnt yesterday that FBC has made it possible for the post office and TelOne to take deposits into the card. Some 18 branches I counted. Strangely though, only two of those are not in Harare, and the two are at the border towns of Kariba and Chirundu. Is it no one in Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare and the other cities uses this card?
With this finally fixed, FBC should now make it possible to transfer funds from a bank account to this card. Or via mobile, so I don’t have to leave my home altogether.
You can download the full list of outlets here.