Kenya: Fake New Banknotes in Circulation - Here's How You Can Tell the Difference

Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge displays new notes at his office in Nairobi on June 3, 2019.

With some small scale traders said to be refusing to accept the new banknotes, due to fear of receiving counterfeit money, Kenyans are now asking for more education on how to identify the new banknotes.

Most of them argue that they are unable to differentiate between the real and fake money, for lack of knowledge on features of the new banknotes.


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The awareness campaign launched on social media by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) appears not to be sufficient with some traders saying they have little time for the internet.


The new banknotes, which were unveiled by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Madaraka Day, have a combination of a new look, feel and tilt display for seven distinct features.

Here are the features to look out for in the new banknotes:


If you run your fingers over the new banknotes, you should feel the part that is written Kenya and the Value of the note i.e.1000, 500, 200, 100 and 50. Also if you run your fingers on the notes edge yo will feel slanting bars which distinguish the value of the note i.e. 1 bar (Sh50), 2 bars (Sh100), 3 bars (Sh200), 4 bars (Sh500) and 5 bars (Sh1000).


If you hold up the notes against the light, you'll see a watermark of a perfect lion's head, the text CBK, and the value of the banknote. You will also see a security thread which appears as a continuous line.


If you tilt the banknote at an angle, the security thread changes colour from red to green on all banknotes. The Sh200, Sh500 and Sh1000 banknotes have additional rainbow colours on the thread. The golden band on the back of the note shows its value.

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