The Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge this morning held a press conference, to update about progress on the rollout of the new generation currency.
There has also been debate on whether the word on the bank notes should be Benki or Banki.
The below is what he had to say:
The publicity campaign on the new generation currency has been ongoing. Posters are available at all mobile money agents, banks and government institions. There has been information dispersed through radio and television. There is also an app that was launched yesterday.
Recalibration of the various machines used by banks and other institutions – verification machines and ATMs – is ongoing.
Most verification machines have been completed, while ATMs are ongoing. Training of tellers has also happened, and is ongoing.
We have been in touch with other central banks, including in the EAC, but also in the rest of Africa and beyond. We have asked them to apply enhanced due diligence on any flows going in and out of our jurisdiction. They are offering their co-operation.
We did study the Indian demonetisation exercise in detail, and we understood where their processes could have been strengthened.
Why did we not produce polymer banknotes? Upon our assessment, we saw in Botswana that the most immediate public reaction was concern about loss of texture. Also, we treat our banknotes quite harshly.
Many Kenyans recognise the security thread as one of the principal security features of currency banknotes. Polymer banknotes do not accommodate security threads.
There are no white surfaces on the banknotes, making it less easy for the new generation banknotes to get dirty. There is also a varnish applied to the notes to keep them cleaner.
The Big Q: Banki or Benki?
The Central Bank of Kenya Act refers to BANKI Kuu ya Kenya.
On translation back in 1964-66, the first proposal was to translate the institution’s name to Banki ya Katikati ya Kenya. Mr. Michuki (PS Finance) gently rejected it and referred the question to Mr. Mboya, who proposed that it be translated as Banki Kuu.
Mr. Mboya, the Minister for Economic Planning, maintained that it was the translation of an English word, so ‘Banki’ and ‘Benki’ were both correct. It was decided deliberately that on currency, ‘Banki Kuu ya Kenya’ comes before ‘Central Bank of Kenya’
The Governor finally reiterated that there will be no extension of the October 1, 2019 deadline for the withdrawal of the old 1,000 shilling banknotes.