Swahili in Kenya

Banks and Money

A person at an ATM

Banks are open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Some banks are open on the first and last Saturday mornings of the month. ATMs are located outside of the bank and at select locations such as the major malls. It is not uncommon for a surcharge to be added to a transaction with a bank or credit card. However, there is a process called “cash back”’ whereby one can withdraw cash from a card without the surcharge by withdrawing the money at the bank counter instead of the ATM.

Robbery is not common in Kenya; however, picking pockets is common. A traveler is still advised to be discreet when handling large sums of cash at an ATM on the street. An enclosed ATM, such as the booths at the malls, is generally a more desirable place to withdraw funds.

Money can be changed both at international banks and at money changing bureaus. The rate of exchange is not negotiable at the banks. However, like many other costs in Kenya, the fee is negotiable at the bureaus.