Bank review: Zemen Bank—Everything you need to know

Zemen Bank is a private bank with over 70 banking branches and centres in Ethiopia.

Bank review: Zemen Bank—Everything you need to know

Zemen Bank is a private bank with over 70 banking branches and centres in Ethiopia.

Zemen Bank offers products and services to local and diaspora Ethiopians. It also offers products to Ethiopian businesses.

This article covers the products and services offered by Zemen Bank.

History of Zemen Bank

Zemen is a private bank that started operating in October 2008. Its goal is to become "Ethiopia's Five Star Bank".

Zemen Bank is currently building a 32-storey building in Addis Ababa’s financial district.

The construction was awarded to a Chinese company, China Wu Yi Ltd and the signing was held at the Radisson Blu Hotel on August 19, 2016.

Senior officials in Zemen Bank have been fined by Ethiopia’s central bank in the past for mismanagement of funds.

Zemen Bank’s founding member, Ermias Amelga, was removed by shareholders on procedural as well as substantial grounds in February 2012.

In 2016, two senior managers were accused by shareholders of abusing over 100-150 million birr (approx $2-3 million) in loans.

In 2018, Zemen Bank was one of the first banks in Ethiopia to achieve a Payment Card Industry Data Security standard (PCI-DSS) certification.

Since then, Zemen Bank has achieved the highest certification in data security every year.

Ermias Eshetu is Zemen Bank's chairperson while Dereje Zebene is the president and CEO.

Zemen Bank’s products and services

Zemen Bank offers products and services to individuals, businesses, and Ethiopians living in the diaspora.

Zemen Bank’s products are divided into personal banking, consumer loans, corporate banking, and international banking categories.

Personal banking

These are bank accounts for individuals in Ethiopia to save or pay their bills. Zemen Bank’s personal bank accounts can be created with at least 5,000 Birr ($12).

Zemen personal banking customers also enjoy access to the bank's alternative banking channels.

Zemen Bank’s personal bank customers are divided into 2 categories: prestige banking and Z-club banking.

Prestige banking

These are customers that maintain a minimum monthly balance of Birr 100,000 ($1,894).

They also enjoy access to a bank representative which they can contact via text or by visiting any Zemen Bank branch.

Z-Club banking

These are customers that maintain a minimum monthly balance of Birr 500,000 ($9.471).

They get access to special discounts, negotiated loans, and a personal bank representative.

Zemen Bank offers the following bank accounts to its prestige and Z-club banking customers:

Personal checking account

This is a no- interest-earning savings account. A minimum amount of Birr 5,000 ($12) is required to open the account.

Prestige checking account

This is an interest-earning savings account. A minimum amount of Birr 500 ($10) is required to open the account.

Z-Club checking account

This is an interest-earning savings account. This account earns a higher interest than a prestige checking account.

A minimum amount of Birr 5000 ($12) is required to open the account.

Consumer loans (save and borrow)

These are loans available to individuals interested in buying a car or house.

Individuals interested in buying a car have to meet the following requirements:

  • Deposit 20% of the car’s price
  • Save 20% of the car’s price for a period of 6-12 months

Zemen Bank grants 60% of the loan amount after the requirements have been reached. Its car loans have a maximum repayment period of five (5) years.

Individuals interested in buying or leasing a property must meet the following requirements:

  • Deposit 20% of the car’s price
  • Save 20% of the car’s price for a period of 6-12 months

Zemen Bank grants 60% of the loan amount after the requirements have been reached. Its mortgage loans have a maximum repayment period of seven (7) years.

Zemen Bank also offers certificate of deposit accounts to its personal banking customers.

You can open a personal bank account by visiting any Zemen Bank branch near you.

Corporate loans

These are loans and credit facilities available to businesses operating in Ethiopia. Zemen Bank offers the following types of corporate loans to businesses:

Equity lines and loans

This is a credit line for businesses to fund their working capital needs. It can also be used to buy assets the business needs to function. Equity lines and loans are valid for a year.

Term loan

This is a loan used to buy or fund big asset purchases or investments like plant expansion, fixed assets or capital improvements.

Short-term loans have a maximum repayment period of two (2) years while medium-term loans have a maximum repayment period of five (5) years.

Businesses can apply for a Zemen corporate loan by visiting any Zemen Bank branch.

International banking

These are bank products and services offered to businesses, foreigners, and Ethiopians in the diaspora.

Some of Zemen Bank’s international banking products are:

Non-resident accounts

This is a non-interest bank account for foreigners or Ethiopians in the diaspora to make payments in local and foreign currencies.

Non-resident accounts can be opened by Ethiopians in the diaspora, international organisations, and their employees.

Zemen Bank offers three (3) types of non-resident accounts:

  1. Non-resident foreign currency account  (NR-FCY A/C)

This is an account for individuals interested in holding and making payments in foreign currency. The account can also be used to make payments in Birr.

2. Non-resident non-transferable BIRR (NR-T BIRR A/C)

This account has the same features as the NR-FCY A/C account. The main difference is that it is used for holding and making payments in Birr.

Non-resident non-transferable accounts(NR-NT BIRR A/C)

This is an account used to make payments in Birr. A foreign exchange permit is required for account owners living outside Ethiopia.

Other international banking products offered by Zemen Bank are:

Zemen Bank’s alternative banking channels

Zemen Bank’s customers can access and manage their accounts through Zemen Bank’s e-banking channels. Zemen Bank’s alternative channels are:

ATM and card banking

Zemen Bank has ATMs in different parts of Ethiopia. You can perform the following transactions:

  • Withdraw money
  • Manage your bank account
  • Change your ATM card pin
  • Pay bills

Zemen Bank also offers gift cards, prepaid cards (gift and travel cards) and payroll cards. Prepaid card holders can load up to Birr 50,000 ($947) and withdraw from the card multiple times.

These cards can be used at Zemen Bank ATMs or any ATMs in the world. You can find a Zemen Bank ATM here.

Zemen Bank's internet banking

Zemen Bank customers can access and manage their accounts via the bank’s online portal. With Zemen’s online banking, you can:

  • View your account balance
  • Transfer funds to other banks
  • Download your account statement
  • Manage your loans
  • View the bank's currency exchange rates
  • Request for cards and chequebooks
  • View, download account statements and export to other accounting formats

How to register for Zemen Bank’s online banking

You must have a Zemen Bank account to register for the bank's online banking service.

You can get started by visiting any Zemen Bank branch OR

  • Visit the online portal here
  • Click Login to your account
  • Click Register
  • Fill out the form. You will be asked to provide your account number, name, username, and password
  • Select the channel you want to receive a one-time password (OTP) from Zemen Bank
  • Input the OTP and confirm your information

Zemen Bank's mobile banking (*844# and bank app)

Zemen Bank customers can also access and manage their accounts via Zemen bank's USSD code (*844#) and its bank app.

With Zemen’s mobile banking channels, customers can:

  • Manage their bank account
  • View your account balance
  • Transfer funds to other bank accounts
  • Activate and deactivate ATM cards
  • Pay bills
  • View the bank's daily exchange rate

How to register for Zemen Bank’s mobile banking channels

You can get started by visiting any Zemen Bank branch

OR

  • Dial *844# on your mobile phone
  • Click Forgot/Set PIN
  • Select Request OTP
  • Input the last 4-digits of your account number
  • Input there 6-digit one-time password (OTP) you received
  • Set your password

You can register for Zemen’s bank app by downloading the app from the Playstore or Appstore.

Frequently asked questions

What is Zemen Bank’s contact information

Zemen Bank’s head office and main branch: Joseph Tito St, P.O. Box 1212, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Telephone number: 011 553 9040 and 0115 54 0074

Fax: 011-5-54-00-51

You can find a Zemen Bank branch and ATM here.

Where is Zemen Bank’s future head office

Zemen Bank is currently building a 32-storey building at the heart of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s financial district, along Ras Abebe Aregay Street.

The project costs 1.23 billion Br (approx $2.5 million).

How many branches of Zemen Bank are in Ethiopia

There are over 70 Zemen Bank branches and centres in Ethiopia

What is Zemen Bank’s website

You can visit the bank's website here.  

You can also visit its YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages.

What is Zemen Bank’s USSD code

*844#

What is Zemen Bank’s SWIFT code

ZEMEETAA

Conclusion

Zemen Bank is an Ethiopian bank that offers products and services to individuals and businesses. Its products are better suited for corporations and high-net-worth individuals.

The bank’s website is also difficult to navigate. It is best to visit a Zemen Bank branch near you to learn more about its products and services.

Sources

https://addisfortune.net/articles/zemen-bank-laying-foundations-amidst-turmoil/

https://banksethiopia.com/banks/zemen-bank/#:~:text=Zemen%20bank%20started%20with%20a,the%20Federal%20Republic%20of%20Ethiopia.