Does size matter? CBK says new bank notes will be much smaller


Does size matter? CBK says new bank notes will be much smaller

In Summary

  • According to Dr. Njoroge, the public complained that the Ksh.1000 note was too large and never quite fits in a wallet and this makes them crumple and appear dirty.
  • If you hold up the note to the light, a watermark of a lion's head, the text CBK and the value of the bank note will appear.
  • There are also some newer and fancier features in the new generation bank notes that will make them harder to forge and more friendly to the blind.

The new generation bank notes unveiled on Madaraka Day (June 1) by President Uhuru Kenyatta will be significantly different from the older notes that are currently in circulation.

One of the biggest changes will be on size as, according to Central Bank of Kenya Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge, they will be much smaller and will fit better in your wallets.

According to Dr. Njoroge, the public complained that the Ksh.1000 note was too large and never quite fits in a wallet and this makes them crumple and appear dirty.

CBK says the Ksh.1000 note is the same size as the Ksh.100 bank note, is crispier and will appear to be much cleaner and better looking.

There are also some newer and fancier features in the new generation bank notes that will make them harder to forge and more friendly to the blind.

“To identify a genuine bank note; feel, look and tilt it. If you run your fingers over the note, you will feel the raised print on Kenya and also on the value,” reads a promo video from CBK.

“For the visually impaired persons, run your fingers over the edge of the note and feel the one bar for Ksh.50, two bars for Ksh.100, three bars for Ksh.200, four bars for Ksh.500 and five bars for Ksh.1000 notes.”

If you hold up the note to the light, a watermark of a lion’s head, the text CBK and the value of the bank note will appear.

“The notes will also have a security thread which will appear as a continuous line,” says CBK. “If you tilt at an angle, the thread changes colour from red to green on all the bank notes but for the Ksh.200, Ksh.500 and Ksh.1000, a rainbow colour appears on the thread when tilted. If you tilt the back of the note at an angle, you will see a golden band showing the value.”

When it comes to imagery, all bank notes will bear each of Kenya’s Big Five (Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo) as well as the image of Kenyatta International Convention Center.

A petition has, however, been filed in court challenging the legality of the currency due to the inclusion of founding President Jomo Kenyatta’s statue on the notes.

Nonetheless, each bank note will bear a unique theme.

“For the Ksh.50, we have green energy, Ksh.100 – agriculture, Ksh,200 – social services, Ksh.500 – Tourism and the Ksh.1000 – Governance,” said Dr. Njoroge.

The Central Bank will launch an awareness campaign to educate on new features.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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