Banking, Money and Taxes in Kenya

Banking in Kenya is easy and efficient. Banks can be found in most major towns and cities. Opening a bank account is usually a priority for expats relocating to Kenya. Although the process is fairly straightforward, expats will need a copy of their contract of employment and proof of a local address in order to open the account. 

Money in Kenya

The official currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES), which is subdivided into 100 cents.

  • Notes: 5 KES, 10 KES, 20 KES, 50 KES, 100 KES, 200 KES, 500 KES and 1,000 KES

  • Coins: 50 cents, 1 KES, 5 KES, 10 KES, 20 KES and 40 KES

Banking in Kenya

Many large international banks have branches in Nairobi or have a partnership with a local bank. This can make transferring money between a home country and Kenya easier. The largest banks are Barclays Bank and Standard Chartered Bank, which are British-owned, and Kenya Commercial Bank, Cooperative Bank of Kenya and Equity Bank Kenya, which are local.

Opening a bank account in Kenya

Opening an account at any of Kenya's banks is straightforward. Expats will usually need to present identification, such as their passport, along with proof of Kenyan address. This can be a utility bill or similar statement that shows the expat's name and address.

Credit cards and ATMs

ATMs are easily found in Kenya's big cities and several banks have online banking. Restaurants and shopping malls in major cities will usually have credit card facilities, although charges can be high. It is usually better to pay with a local debit card or in cash.

Taxes in Kenya

Income in Kenya is taxed at a flat rate of 30 percent. Expats need to be aware that it is possible to be taxed on one income both in Kenya and their home country – however, Kenya has double-taxation treaties with some countries. Expats will need to find out if their home country is party to such an agreement. 

Filing taxes can be a complicated procedure for expats even if dual tax systems don't have to be taken into account. Thus, expats should consult an expat tax advisor for help.

Marianne Our Expat Expert

I'm an Australian now living in Kenya. I spend my time travelling the country, volunteering, and helping those less fortunate. In my spare time I love to learn more about Kenya, watch my girly movies, hang out with my man, go shopping, journaling, scrapbooking, reading, volunteering and meeting new people. My boyfriend and I are co-owners of a company in Kenya. We place international volunteers in areas of need around Kenya. It is the most rewarding work I could ever wish to do. I love everything about Kenya!

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