Lagos-headquartered United Bank for Africa (UBA) has launched
its prepaid Visa card, Africard, in Zambia with the aim of
promoting online shopping and payments.

Africard does not require a bank account, and can be used even
by the unbanked both in rural and urban areas in Africa.

The card is the first to be introduced in Zambia by a bank, and
aims to increase the appetite for online shopping in Zambia and
encourage people to use cards when shopping, as opposed to carrying
huge sums of money.

Africard aims to uphold UBA’s commitment to “creating new models
of banking with the objectives of responding to the needs of
unbanked populace”, according to the lender.

Customers could use Africard as am alternative for cash
disbursement of wages and salary payments, online shopping and
money transfer, as well as a foreign exchange card.

Other banks in Zambia, including Standard Chartered Bank – in a
partnership with the Zambia Telecommunication Company (Zamtel) –
have only been able to roll out mobile banking services.

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UBA’s Africard will also allow card holders to pay utility bills

The UBA card is expected to penetrate rural
areas faster than mobile banking. This is because it can be used by
both the banked and the unbanked, and has already been recognised
by the Bankers Association of Zambia as the most innovative card

UBA entered the Zambian market in January last
year, which was its first entry into the southern African

MasterCard has a new virtual cash card in the
Zambian market as well – in partnership with mobile operator Airtel
– that is already providing online shopping services via
mobile phones to the unbanked.

UBA has more than 7.2m customers across 750
branches in 18 African countries.