It is advisable to open a local account to facilitate payment for local services. All major banks in Kenya allow accounts in US Dollars. Banks charge between US$12-18 monthly fees. There is also a fee to lose down the account. There are many banks to choose from, including the below:
- United Nations Federal Credit Union (UN Compound)
- Kenya Commercial Bank (UN Compound)
- Standard Chartered Bank (UN Compound)
- Barclays Bank of Kenya
- National Bank of Kenya
- CFC Bank
- NIC Bank
- Commercial Bank of Africa
- Cooperative Bank
- Equity Bank
To open an account, banks will generally require:
Two passport photographs
Identification document, e.g. passport
Proof of residence, work permit or Diplomatic Identity Card
Account takes about 7 days to be operational
Most banks have a reasonable network of branches and ATMs across the city. ATMs will generally accept international cards, particularly VISA cards.Checks take 3-4 business days to clear. However, if you are paying out, your account is debited immediately and this normally shows by the next day. All local and international banks in Kenya allow USD accounts.
Credit Card Use
The use of credit cards to pay for purchases and services in major facilities is fairly common. However, where possible, it is recommended that staff make cash payments.
Mpesa or Airtel Money
M-pesa: (M for mobile, pesa is KIswahili for money) allows users to deposit, withdraw, transfer money and pay for goods and services with a mobile device. Users are charged a small fee for sending and withdrawing money using the service. It‟s very useful. You can pay for a taxi, buy food at the supermarket, pay for a dinner at a restaurant or the electricity and water bills, recharge your phone-credit, send money to others… etc. Register for it with your ID and some money to deposit at any Safaricom shop or Airtel Shop (in any mall) and you‟re set.
Insurance Coverage Options
Protect yourself and your loved ones with third party and comprehensive insurance products.
UN staff members can purchase personal insurance products from Kenya or outside.
United Nations Kenya Local Expatriate Spouse Association recommends two starting points for assessing your risks, insurance options and expectations including: health, car, property, disability, mobile property and special risks: