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Kenyans Hoard “Worthless” Coins Amounting To Ksh1 Billion

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Kenyans are keeping over Ksh995 million in their houses in denominations of Ksh1 and 50 cents, the latest data by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has revealed.

This comes at a time traders are rejecting the Ksh1 and 50 Cents coins over soaring inflation, which has rendered the coins almost worthless except in banks where you can exchange them for higher denomination money.

Inflation is the measure of changes in the cost of living year-on-year. Inflation stood at 5.90 percent in March from 5.78 percent in February.

As of June 2020, Ksh1 coin amounted to Ksh858 million in June 2020, while the 50 cent coins totalled to Ksh137 million, adding up to Ksh995 million.

Read: Banks Resume Charges for Transactions Above Sh100 via Mobile Money Wallets

In 2016, the amount of Ksh1 coins kept by Kenyans stood at Ksh733 million but the amount has ballooned to Ksh858 million as of June 2020.

The total money in circulation increased by Ksh8.2 billion (3.3 percent) in the financial year 2019/20.

CBK spent Ksh3.047 billion on the production of currency in circulation in 2020, as compared to the Ksh2.14 billion spent in 2019.

“The expenses include printing, minting, freight, insurance and handling costs,” CBK stated in its annual report.

To avoid the burden of transacting with coins, Kenyans especially in urban areas have turned to mobile payments, with the amount transacted through mobile in 2020 hitting Ksh5.21 trillion as compared to Ksh4.34 trillion in 2019.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @FmuliKE. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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