How to Open A Diaspora Account in Kenya Explained

Are you searching for how to open a diaspora bank account here? Don’t look any further. A lot of Kenyans are working abroad and certainly, they might wish to either save or invest their earned money back at home. And that’s why maybe you too are searching.

In this post I’ll let you know:

  1. What Is A Diaspora Account?
  2. How A Diaspora Bank Account Functions
  3. Diaspora Bank Account Opening Requirements In Kenya While You’re Abroad 
  4. The Features of A Diaspora Bank Account In Kenya
  5. The Diaspora Bank Loans
  6. How to Open A KCB Diaspora Account
  7. How to Open A Family Bank Diaspora Account
  8. The Bottom Line of Diaspora Banking In Kenya 

Here are some quick important takeaways for you before we dive deep into this post:

#1. The Kenya Vision 2030 acknowledges diaspora contribution as a crucial enabler to our economic growth and an important aspect in the achievement of our desired vision of a globally competitive and successful Kenya by the year 2030.

#2. The number of Kenyans living, and working abroad is estimated at over 3 million and is steadily increasing.

Without much ado, let’s dive into the main post.

What Is A Diaspora Account?

A diaspora account is a setting that enables people staying, and working outside of their countries to run transactional bank accounts back at home. It also allows them to do both domestic and foreign money transfers via the same accounts. 

How A Diaspora Bank Account Functions

To better understand how the account works, you first should know what diaspora banking is. Diaspora banking is a service that enables people residing and working outside their country to run a bank account back home. Diaspora bank accounts differ, depending on your bank of choice. However, to navigate clients about the diaspora bank account opening process, and how to invest in Kenya most banks employ relationship managers. The managers also help their clients to manage their funds. Besides, some of the banks provide mortgage products to the diaspora bank account holders.

Diaspora Bank Account Opening Requirements In Kenya While You’re Abroad

When it comes to the opening requirements, provisions for diaspora banking in Kenya depend on the particular bank. Generally, the following are some of the requirements that cut across all the banks.

  1. Valid Identification copies 
  2. Authentic client information such as your full name, mobile phone number, and email address.
  3. Kenya Revenue Authority PIN
  4. CRB Clearance
  5. Financial Statements
  6. Source of income
  7. Collected FATCA information
  8. Mandate signature 
  9. Authentic Passport size photographs

The Features of A Diaspora Bank Account In Kenya

In Kenya, these features vary from one bank to another. However, the following are the basic features that cut across:

  1. Account balance is available in different currencies
  2. You can transact via a mobile app or an online banking platform
  3. Some accounts earn interest in both local, and foreign currencies
  4. Most of the accounts provide full banking products as well as allow you to send money fast
  5. You can save and withdraw your money while in Kenya or abroad
  6. It’s cheaper to withdraw funds from these accounts in any given location since their account balances are available in different currencies
  7. You as a client, have 24/7 access to customer service and internet banking
  8. Some accounts don’t charge you monthly fees
  9. Some of them provide loans after six months
  10. You are issued with a debit card
  11. Finally, you are given access to the relationship manager of your particular bank  

In case you happen to be abroad, you can send the documents through mail or even courier services. Alternatively, some banks run an online registration system, thereby making it further accessible. Others will send their agent to where you are to collect your signature and other documents.

The Diaspora Bank Loans

In a bid to serve all the citizens equally, most Kenyan banks do offer credit facilities to clients staying abroad. Some of the loans extended include:

Diaspora mortgage/construction. This loan can be used to establish commercial or residential or premises.

Assets Financing. This loan can be used to acquire assets for your business, including equipment and machines.

Personal Loans. These are given to individuals based on their employment agreements. They take two forms namely, secured loans and unsecured loans.

Trade Financing. This is a type of loan with which you can fund various business needs. Under it, you can get bid and performance bonds for your business’s requirements.

Plot Purchase Loans. These are loans intended to buy land or plot using.

Here are some of the banks offering Diaspora bank accounts in Kenya.

  • Equity Bank (Diaspora Business Account, Ezzysave Diaspora Account,t and Equity Bank Diaspora Loans)
  • Co-op Diaspora Banking
  • NCBA Diaspora Account
  • Barclays Bank
  • Gulf African Bank Diaspora Account. Kenya’s premier diaspora Islamic banking
  • I&M Diaspora Bank Account
  • Chase Bank
  • Family Bank Kenya Diaspora Account
  • Credit Bank Diaspora Account
  • KCB Diaspora Bank Account
  • Diamond Trust Bank

How to Open A KCB Diaspora Account

If you intend to open a KCB diaspora account the process is simple, as long as you equip yourself with the above-listed requirements. You can either visit the nearest bank branch and be instructed on what to do. Or you can personally do it via email.

In case you decide to open the account through email, you’ll have to download the account’s application form. Then fill in all the vital information required from you, and attach all the relevant documents’ copies. Finally, you scan and email them to

How to Open A Family Bank Diaspora Account

Family Bank offers you a variety of diaspora accounts to choose from depending on your needs. Among them is the Mkenya Daima Diaspora Savings Account.

Mkenya Daima Diaspora Savings Account

This account allows you to transact and save your money when in Kenya and even abroad. It can be opened in the following currencies, KES, USD, GBP, and also EUR.

Features of Mkenya Daima Diaspora Savings Account

This account’s features include:

  • Minimum account opening balance of KES 10,000 for KES accounts or its equivalent in the other currencies
  • Minimum account operating balance of KES 500 for KES accounts or its equivalent in the other currencies
  • It’s an interest-earning account
  • No ledger fees required

Benefits of Mkenya Daima Diaspora Savings Account

The benefits of this account include:

  1. Access to the Bank’s pre-qualified service providers like engineers, architects, project managers, EIA experts, lawyers, valuers, and real estate agents for professional advice on financial and investment matters 
  2. Kenyan businesses trading abroad are eligible to open the account 
  3. Account-holders have access to loan facilities
  4. Client’s have access to Internet Banking and PesaPap mobile banking services 
  5. For KES accounts, a Visa debit card is available
  6. Subject to regulations, KES denominated Mkenya Daima Diaspora Savings account reaps interest quarterly

Requirements for the Account Opening

  • Duly filled account opening form
  • One passport size photo of the applicant
  • Copy of Kenyan national identity card or a valid passport (copies of pages 1,2 and last page)
  • Copy of utility bill or bank statements confirming postal/mailing address or valid driver’s license / national social security number (they should be less than 3 months old)
  • Kenya Revenue Authority PIN certificate
  • Notarized documentation done by you was donebassy & Notary Public, Family Bank Agent, Current Banker in your country of residence

Bottom Line of Diaspora Banking In Kenya

If you are a Kenyan who is presently working abroad, you should ponder opening a diaspora bank account for cheap money transfers to family or friends and making investments back in Kenya as well. Besides, you can also access diaspora loans in Kenya with most of the banks mentioned above. Before you open your account, ensure that you read carefully the requirements of each bank, the services they offer via diaspora accounts, fees, and features of their accounts

About the Author

Fredrick Musungu is an experienced B2B, B2C copywriter with a background in SEO content writing. He helps businesses and individuals to earn more through highly persuasive and informative content online, at Liberating Freelance. He also writes about health at FMHealthwise.