The dominos are falling fast; NMBConnect is now zero-rated

Valentine Muhamba Avatar
NMB Connect Online, visa, zero-rated, NMB Bank access debit cards

The zero-rate rate revolution has really picked up the pace over the last couple of weeks. We saw BancABC, Steward Bank and FBC announce that their banking platforms are now data-free. And now NMB Bank has followed suit with the announcement that the NMBConnect platform is now zero-rated.

“We believe access to data or airtime should not be a barrier to safe and convenient banking, which is why we are partnering with mobile phone networks for zero-rated access to our digital banking platforms”

Ben Washaya NMB’s CEO

Much like all the other banks that have made this move NMBConnect will be zero-rated for Econet customers. However, NMB’s CEO said that they are in discussions with NetOne

“Econet is the first mobile phone network that we have concluded a zero rating agreement with. Work is underway to conclude a similar agreement with NetOne”

It stands to reason that all the other banks are in negotiations with other mobile network operators. Hopefully, we can see an announcement that NetOne and/or Telecel are offering zero-rate services soon.

So… which platforms have been zero-rated?

From the statement that NMB released it looks like a blanket zero-rating for all the platforms under the NMBConnet banner. These include the app, the website and the *241# USSD (which was already free). The added benefit of NMB making its platforms free to access is because over the last year or so, the bank has been upgrading its NMBConnect digital banking channel.

Customers can now do the “paperwork” for withdrawals and deposits over the app and simply go to the bank or send someone they trust to do the pickup or drop off. Added to that you can now open a full KYC (Know Your Customer) account via the app or a KYC Lite account via USSD. In the olden days (which are just last year by the way) you had to go to the branch in order to open an account. You had to bring in-tow, documents to complete the process. But with NMBConnect all you now need to do is just upload them from wherever you are.

Furthermore, if you have opened an NMB lite account via the USSD, you can upgrade to a full KYC Savings or Current account via the app.

“We believe that digital banking offers customers convenience, safety during this Covid-19 pandemic and the ability to manage their own bank account. With zero-rated connection to NMBConnect for Econet customers and hopefully for subscribers of other networks in the near future, we are removing one of the last barriers to accessing our digital bank”

Ben Washaya NMB’s CEO

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  1. Collen Tatenda Tirivamwe


  2. Joseph Matimba

    Do the announcements lag that slowly behind the implementation? I’ve been using FBC Mobile Banking and NMB Comnect without data for the most part since I opened accounts this year.

  3. Vincent

    Techzim please learn to proof test before you post such things because it will end up tarnishing ur credibility.fbc ..nmbc are both not yet zero rated on econet for browsing usage.FBC has been zero rated for a while but on zol so are POSB and steward on the same network

    1. Valentine Muhamba

      I have tested the FBC, NMB and Nedbank zero-rating and they were working on my end.

  4. Imi vanhu musadaro

    I think it’s the banking app vendor, or Econet, spearheading the zero rating initiative, rather than something banks are doing proactively to “benefit” their clientele.

    1. Valentine Muhamba

      It might be more the banks copying each other. If you remember Stanbic came out of the blue with it and everyone has been playing catch up since.