With the growth in access to financial services in the country, the need to have a bank account is rising. Hence, let’s look at how to open a bank account in Kenya.

Currently, over 40 banks are operating in Kenya. This has made it easier and more efficient to open an account as the banks are now widely located. You can get a bank in nearly all towns across the country.  Check out the Full List of All Banks Registered in Kenya.

Benefits of a bank account in Kenya

Access to loans– One of the key roles of banks is to offer loan services. However, for you to access these services, you need to have a bank account. There are different types of loans that you can get from banks such as mortgages, asset financing, and overdrafts. Although most banks offer these services, the terms and product details differ between banks.

Some of the key factors banks consider when giving loans include CRB scores and account turnovers. Normally, customers with good CRB scores and high turnovers access higher loan limits. 

How to Check your CRB Status

Facilitates savings -Banks have various savings accounts that assist you in this journey. Some of the characteristics of these accounts include withdrawal limits and interest on savings. These characteristics are meant to ensure you save as much and as long as possible.

Investment solutions– Having a bank enables you to access various investment opportunities on offer. One of these included Fixed deposit investment. This is a financial investment option that allows you to fix your money for a specific time and earn an agreed amount of interest. It is a better option than just having your money stay idle in the account. Learn more on Fixed Deposit Investment in Kenya

There are also investment banks that allow customers to invest in financial assets such as government bonds and the stock market.  How to Buy and Sell Shares in Kenya. It is also a mandatory requirement to have a bank if you want to access investments that require a CDS account. Learn more on How to Open a CDS account in Kenya.

Factors to Consider when opening a bank account in Kenya

Different people have various reasons for opening bank accounts. Hence, ensure to open a need-driven account. Below are some of the key elements to consider;

Location- You should open an account with a bank that is easily accessible. The banks should be close to where you stay or work making it easier to access services. Another factor to consider on location is the safety element.  

Products- Only get an account with a bank that is offering products that suit your needs. For example, if your want to buy a house, target to open an account with an institution specializing in mortgages. If you are a micro customer, seek to get an account with a micro-finance bank.

Digital solutions- Technology has made banking easier and more convenient. This is possible through platforms such as internet banking, mobile banking, and agents. Hence, you should target to open a bank account in Kenya with an institution that has these digital solutions.

Interest rates- This applies to those who want to get a loan or access fixed deposit services. If you are seeking a loan, you should target to open an account with a bank offering lower rates. This will go a long way in reducing your cost of borrowing. 

Factors to Consider When Taking a Loan in Kenya.

If you are seeking fixed deposit services, target to get an account with a bank offering higher rates as this will increase your income.

Regulation-only open an account with a bank that is regulated by the central bank of Kenya. This ensures your money is safe. In case of loss, you are covered by insurance as per the law.

Requirements to Open a Bank Account in Kenya

These requirements differ depending on various factors such as age and citizenship. Let’s start with the requirements for

Kenyan Citizens.

  • National Identity Card
  • Kenya Revenue Authority PIN
  • Must be 18 years of age (Minors should have a birth certificate and be accompanied by a guardian)
  • Passport photo
  • Fill in the account opening form.

Non-Kenyan citizens

For foreigners, the requirements are different from those of locals. The requirements on how to open a bank account in Kenya include:

  • Passport
  • Work Permit / Proof of residency
  • Must be over 18 years of age
  • Fill in the account opening form
  • Kenya Revenue Authority PIN

In most banks, the account opening process is instant. Some banks also allow you to open an account online. Hence, it is important to do research and get the one that best suits your needs.  


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