Kenyans holding Sh1,000 notes will not need to have a bank account to exchange them for the new generation ones, according to the Central Bank of Kenya.
Holders of the old legal tender that is being mopped out of circulation will only need to visit the bank closest to them to get the new currency notes as long as they provide sufficient identification and confirmation that the cash belongs to them.
CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge, however, said that those with between Sh1 million and Sh5 million worth of the Sh1,000 denominations will have to visit their banks (where they hold accounts) and make proper declarations on the source of their cash to be allowed to exchange or deposit.
Holders of this volume of cash without bank accounts will have to contact CBK for a conversion to be facilitated.
“For between Sh1 million to Sh5 million, you will need to go to your bank where they know you, your type of business and they will still ask the usual questions and you sign the usual declaration forms just like it has been done before,” Dr Njoroge said.
Those with more than Sh5 million in cash will also be required to contact CBK.
These could be part of the stringent measures in place to catch dealers in illicit cash flows as Kenya heightens war on corruption and black economy.
Earlier, the CBK held a closed-door meeting with commercial banks chief executives to facilitate a seamless transition to the new notes which are said to be in circulation already.
There is no deadline attached to all the other denominations apart from the Sh1,000 notes.
Dr Njoroge also defended the process that midwifed the birth of the new currency, insisting it was within the CBK legal mandate to kick-start the controversial withdrawal of the Sh1,000 note by October 1, 2019.
The rollout has been challenged in court by activist Okiya Omtatah and East African Legislative Assembly MP Simon Mbugua in separate petitions.