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New Cheque Design Standards

The Central Bank of Kenya, in conjunction with the Kenya Bankers Association, is in the process of implementing the Cheque Truncation System (CTS) to replace the existing cheque clearing system. Under this, the physical exchange of cheques for settlement between member banks will be replaced with an electronic settlement system that exchanges cheque images and associated electronic payment information. The new system, when fully operational, is designed to increase operational efficiency of the cheques clearing system.

To facilitate the implementation of the system, the Kenya Bankers Association has introduced new design standards and specifications for cheques with the following features

  • Standardization of all cheques to one size of 7” X 4”
  • Inclusion of a standard Watermark on the cheque paper
  • Enhanced security features on the design of the cheques

The design changes have been implemented to facilitate imaging as well as to address the security of the cheque in an effort to curb incidents of cheque fraud in the industry. To address possible fraud, the advice is:-

  • Always use dark colored ink (blue and black) while drawing instruments.
  • No alterations on the face of the cheque will be accepted. Do not release or receive cheque payments with alterations.

All Cheques deposits with such alterations will be rejected and payee will be advised to get replacement cheques in case any errors are indentified.

The cheques with the old design will still be accepted for clearing, for the time being, but will be disallowed with effect from 31st May 2011.

You are requested to return any stock of unused cheque books with the old design to the Bank for cancellation and apply for a cheque book with the new design.  The new standards affect all cheques denominated in Kenya Shillings as well as the Local Domestic Foreign Currency cheques drawn on banks in Kenya.

Additional information, on the new system and procedures shall be communicated to you as it becomes available. Should you have any queries on the system or procedures, please contact our Customer Service Centre at 4981125 and 4981137 or visit your nearest branch.

Yours sincerely,

Henry Mwangi
Head of Operations, ECB


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