Banking in Tanzania

Updated 2021-07-20 15:09

If you are moving to Tanzania, it is likely that you are going to want to set up a bank account, especially if you are locally employed. The African country is renowned for having safe and secure banking procedures, ensuring utmost privacy and facilitating high-security transactions. This article will explore the area of banking and finance in Tanzania, and will provide useful and practical tips for getting your finances in order when you enter the country.

Please do note that we are in no way financial consultants and are not by law permitted to give legal advice. This article serves merely as an overview and guide for you to reference; it is highly advised to speak to a registered finance practitioner or immigration consultant before entering the country.

Financial Liberalisation

Sometime during the 90s, Tanzania's banking sector embarked on a plan of financial liberalisation for the country in order to sustain its accelerating economic growth. As a result of this, a variety of new merchant and commercial banks, bureau de change, credit bureaus, as well as other financial institutions entered the market.

Interestingly, in 2009 there were 38 licensed banks and other financial institutions; this number had increased to 56 as of March 2015. This is a 47% increase in just 6 years!

Banks in Tanzania

The bank of Tanzania recently issued a report that the various banking institutions in the country had an overall branch network of 702 branches. Most of these were located within the main cities in the country, so do note that if or when you need to pay these a visit in person, you will need to be located in one of the cities. The cities with the highest frequency of banks are as follows: Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mwanza, Mbeya and Moshi.

Do note that, like many other African countries, mobile banking has been on the rise in Tanzania. This comes with an increased accessibility to mobile devices; so much so that this method of banking is set to overtake the traditional method in time. One example of this already in place; namely, Vodacom Tanzania offers its M-Peza banking service.

Opening a Bank Account

There are a number of different types of bank accounts that you might be interested in opening. Those available include personal and corporate accounts, fixed deposit accounts, and multi-currency accounts. Some banks allow for accounts to be opened without ever needing to appear in person, so this is possible to be set up offshore. Most banks offer cards as well as internet banking services.

Usually, an initial deposit with an amount around $1000 is required upon the opening of a new bank account. For opening a personal account, you will need to produce a copy of your passport, as well as proof of your address (within 3 months).

In order to open a corporate account, you will need the aforementioned documentation, as well as the following: Certificate of Formation/Incorporation, Statement of Shareholders/Organizers, Status of Company, Board of Resolution for opening a bank account. For all of these corporate documents, you can either submit the original or notarized copies.

Useful links:

Tanzania Invest - Tanzania Banking
List of banks in Tanzania
Tanzania Banking Turns Mobile
Exploring the mobile banking revolution in Tanzania

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.