How to Activate Your Zenith Bank ATM Card: A Detailed Guide


Activating your new Zenith Bank ATM card is an important first step before you can start using it for cash withdrawals, payments, transfers, and other transactions.

Having an active ATM card linked to your bank account provides convenient access to banking services, allows you to avoid long queues at branches, and enables seamless cashless payments.

Activate Your Zenith Bank ATM Card

In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through the quick and easy process to activate your new Zenith Bank naira Mastercard or Verve debit card using any of these simple options:

  • At a Zenith Bank branch
  • Via the Zenith Bank mobile app
  • Using Zenith Bank USSD banking with *966#

Whichever option you choose, activating your card only takes a few minutes. Let’s examine each activation method in detail:

Activating Your Zenith Bank ATM Card at a Branch

Heading to a Zenith Bank branch near you is the most traditional way to activate your new debit card. Here is a step-by-step overview:

Step 1: Visit Any Zenith Bank Branch

First, locate your nearest Zenith Bank branch using the branch locator on the Zenith Bank website. Ensure you go along with a valid means of ID such as your:

  • National ID card
  • International passport
  • Permanent voter’s card
  • Driver’s license
  • National identity card issued by the National Immigration service

You will need to provide any of these as a means of identification and account verification before your card can be activated.

Step 2: Meet a Customer Service Representative

Once you arrive at the Zenith Bank branch, kindly approach any customer service representative at the reception or lobby. Let them know you will like to activate your Zenith Bank ATM card.

Step 3: Provide Your Account Details

Next, provide the representative with some key details like:

  • Your account number
  • Your account name
  • Your new ATM card number
  • Your card expiry date
  • Your PIN if you already created one or would like to set one.

Ensure you have these details handy to make the process smooth.

📝Note: If you don’t remember your account number, the representative can help retrieve it with your account name, ID card, and other verification details.

Step 4: Instant Activation

Once your details are verified against their system, the customer service representative will activate your ATM card instantly! The process is very straightforward at a Zenith Bank branch.

Step 5: Change Your PIN (Optional)

Optionally, you can also request to change your card PIN to a new one instantly. This is recommended for security reasons so only you can access the card moving forward.

And that’s it! By visiting any Zenith Bank branch, your new debit card will be activated within minutes so you can start transacting.

Activating Your Zenith Bank Card via Mobile App

A quick, convenient alternative is using the Zenith Bank Mobile App to activate your new ATM card instantly.

Here is an overview:

Step 1: Download the Zenith Mobile App

First, ensure you have downloaded the latest version of the Zenith Bank Mobile App on your android or iOS smartphone device. You can download the mobile banking app from:

Step 2: Register or Login

Next, open the newly installed app.

  • If you’re using the Zenith Bank Mobile App for the first time, you need to register with your account details to create your user profile
  • Existing users should login with their credentials

Step 3: Navigate to Cards Section

Once registered/logged in, navigate or scroll to the “Cards” menu within the app. This section allows managing debit/credit cards linked to your account.

Step 4: Select “Activate Card”

Under the Cards menu, find and select the option to “Activate Card”. This will open the Zenith card activation prompt.

Step 5: Enter Card Details

On the prompt, carefully enter details of the card including:

  • The card number
  • The card expiry date
  • The 3-digit CVV number at the back

Ensure all details match those found on your Zenith Bank debit card for successful activation.

Step 6: Create or Confirm PIN

Next, you will be prompted to set a new four digit ATM PIN if you haven’t created one already. If you have an existing PIN, enter it to confirm. This becomes your verification code every time you need to use the ATM card moving forward.

Step 7: Instant Activation

Once the correct card details and PIN are entered/confirmed, your Zenith Bank ATM card will be successfully activated for instant use! Isn’t mobile banking convenient?

Activating Via Zenith *966# USSD Banking

A third option is using Zenith Bank’s USSD banking platform to instantly activate your ATM card. Simply follow these steps:

Step 1: Dial *966#

Using the phone number linked or registered to your Zenith bank account, dial *966# on your mobile device. This will bring up the USSD banking menu.

📝 Note: Ensure your phone number is already registered or linked to your Zenith account. This allows accessing banking services via USSD.

Step 2: Select “Card Activation”

Carefully navigate and select the “Card Activation” option from the various USSD banking services prompts.

Step 3: Enter Card Details

On the prompt after selecting card activation, enter your:

  • Zenith ATM card number
  • The expiry date
  • 3-digit CVV number

Similar to the mobile app activation, ensure you accurately provide all card details for successful activation.

Step 4: Create or Confirm Your PIN

Next, follow the prompts to either set a new four digit ATM PIN or confirm your existing PIN to validate card ownership.

Step 5: Instant Activation

Once your entries and PIN is confirmed, you will receive a message that your Zenith Bank ATM card has been successfully activated and ready for transactions!

Activate Zenith Bank ATM Card

Additional Tips for Hassle-Free Usage

Here are some additional tips to ensure your newly activated Zenith Bank ATM card remains fully protected and convenient to use anytime:

  • Link Your Phone Number: Ensure the phone number linked to your Zenith Bank account is active and accessible by you for mobile and USSD banking.
  • Keep Details Confidential: Never share your ATM card PIN, CVV, expiry date or password with anyone, including bank staff, to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Use Secured Machines: Be vigilant when using your card on ATM machines or POS terminals to avoid cloning or skimming of your card details. Only use secured bank machines.
  • Set Transaction Limits: Log in to Zenith Bank Internet Banking to configure your personalized daily or monthly card spending limits for extra security.
  • Report Issues Promptly: Immediately report any lost, stolen or misplaced cards to Zenith Bank by calling their customer service or visiting a branch to block the card and prevent fraudulent use of funds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about activating your Zenith Bank ATM card:

What details do I need to provide to activate my card at a Zenith Bank branch?

You will need to provide your account number, account name, card number, card expiry date and PIN. A valid ID card will also be required for account number retrieval or verification.

Do I need internet banking already set up to activate via the Zenith mobile app?

No, you can activate directly with your card details even before registering for internet banking. However, internet banking provides additional controls for your account and cards.

What if my mobile number is not yet linked to my Zenith bank account?

You can visit any Zenith bank branch with a valid ID card to link your phone number for mobile/USSD banking. This update only takes a few minutes.

How long does it take to activate my card via USSD or mobile app?

Activation via Zenith Bank’s *966# USSD platform or mobile app is real-time. Once details are entered and verified, your ATM card will be instantly usable for transactions.

What do I do if ATM card activation fails?

Check all card details provided are accurate. You may retry activation after 24 hours. If it fails again, please visit the nearest Zenith Bank branch for assistance. Remember to always keep your card safe after activation.

Can someone else help activate my Zenith Bank card on my behalf?

For security reasons, self-activation online or by visiting a Zenith branch is recommended. However, your authorized representative can activate at a branch with your approval letter, ID documents and card details.

We hope this detailed guide helps you seamlessly activate your new Zenith Bank ATM card using any of these simple methods. Activate your card today to enjoy secure and convenient access to cash and payments across ATM, POS and online platforms on-the-go.


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