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The Best Banks for Small Businesses in Kenya

The Best Banks for Small Businesses in Kenya

Banking is one way that can help you grow your small business. However, you should find the right banks to help you in your time of need.

Due to financial technology improvements, you can access your account in the comfort of your home or wherever you wish. That’s one good thing happening to our banking sector.

This guide will teach you the best banks to help you and provide the best services.

Factors to consider when choosing the best bank for small business in Kenya 

  • Fees associated with account openings and maintenance. The lower the fees, the better.
  • Loans availability for small businesses. Can you get a small business loan, and what are the requirements? As a real estate investor, you need a bank that can give you a mortgage to buy more property if necessary.
  • Can your clients pay directly to the bank? You will need a bank account where you can link your products and services payments.
  • Loan interest rates. The lower the interest, the better since you’ll pay a small amount in each installment.
  • Customer service. Does the bank have good customer representatives willing to help you when needed? In addition, can you access customer support 24/7?
  • Minimum balance. Some banks have no minimum balance requirements, while others have very high minimum balances.

Now, I will guide you into choosing the best bank with good qualities to serve your small business needs.

  1. Equity Bank Kenya 

Equity is the best bank where you can open a small business account. This bank has thousands of equity agents all over the country, meaning you can easily use your ATM to get funds faster.

In addition, you can withdraw or send money using your mobile banking services or the Ezzy SIM card. Actually, Think Business Awards recognized Equity as the best bank with mobile banking services. 

If you are out of the country, you can manage your account transactions using the online portal. So you can comfortably check your rental income progress while away from home. 

Equity bank Kenya is the only financial institution in Kenya that allows you to link your Paypal account. Therefore, it’s suitable for small business owners like freelancers who receive payments from abroad via Paypal.

In 2021, Euromoney Awards ranked Equity bank as the best SME bank in Africa. It also emerged among the top 1000 banks in the world.

Think Business Awards recognized Equity bank as among the best banks you can borrow from. There are options for getting Ezzy loans, Small Business Loans, and big business financing.

  1. KCB Group 

Kenya Commercial Bank is another best bank for small business and real estate investors.

This bank has a special Biashara club that helps you get fair interest rates on business loans if you are a member. You also get negotiated Forex trade rates.

Apart from that, being a biashara club member allows you to get support and resources to help grow your small business. In addition, you meet big investors that can help you grow your real estate business.

Biashara club members have special managers to help them get the best from their banking experience. In addition, the managers help you make the right investment decisions.

The bank’s blog section informs members on offers and new investment ideas. 

You can get a mortgage loan to start a real estate business, even when you are in the diaspora. In addition,  you can comfortably manage your account while you are outside the country via online banking services.

You can open a small business current account or a business saving account. The good thing is you don’t need a minimum balance to use the account. The application is also free.

However, the account maintenance fee is Ksh. 300 annually.

  1. Cooperative Bank Kenya 

Coop bank is another excellent bank for small businesses in Kenya. This bank has a Haba na Haba account for small businesses. It’s free to open a Haba na Haba account without a minimum operating balance.

With this account, you can access business loans and your business funds whenever needed.

The bank has introduced mobile and internet banking that allows you to access your account anywhere in the world.

The Cooperative bank also has an MSME account that lets you do all your business needs in one place. However, the minimum operating balance in its Bronze account Level is Ksh.300 and an opening balance of Ksh.1000. If you need a checkbook to initiate purchase payments, you’ll get them for free.

  1. Absa bank Kenya 

This bank was formerly known as Barclays bank Kenya. 

With Absa bank, investing in real estate is easy since you can get a mortgage to build a home, buy and let, equity release, and remortgage.

Absa bank offers unsecured business loans of up to Ksh.6M with a maximum repayment of 5 years. You can repay within ten years if you need a secured business loan.

Absa has several special business accounts.

There is the She business account that supports women in business. This account has a 1% cashback reward for balances of Ksh. 300,000, which is paid monthly.

Members enjoy free Mpesa deposits and withdrawals. In addition, you can access your account in any part of the world through the Absa app and internet banking. There is also mobile banking supporting local members. 

There is also a small business savings account with no monthly fees. In addition, you will earn interest if you don’t withdraw your funds in one quarter.

This bank also has a Business club account suitable for small businesses in the growth stage.

In addition, there is the La Riba Business Current account for people who prefer Islamic products.

  1. Family Bank Kenya

This bank has a good plan for small businesses. For instance, the Jenga Bizna account allows small businesses that want to save and grow their business. When you save with this account, you will earn interest on balances of more than Ksh. 20,000.

You can also grow your business by taking microloans using the Jenga Bizna account. 

The Business current account with Family bank also allows you to manage your day-to-day business activities like payments. You don’t need a minimum balance to maintain this account. In addition, you don’t need to seek approval before withdrawing a large sum of money. You can also secure a business loan using the business’s current account.

Bottom Line

Now that you’ve read about the best banks for small businesses in Kenya, you can go ahead and make the right choices to grow your business.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. Which is the most stable bank in Kenya?

Equity bank has received several awards for satisfying its clients. Think Business 2022 Awards recognized it as the best bank in Kenya. Equity bank has also been in operation for a long time.

  1. How much do you need to open a KCB account?

You need Ksh. 200 as the opening balance for a KCB account.

  1. How many bank accounts should a small business have?

You need at least 3 accounts for your small business. A checking, high-yielding savings, and money market.

  1. What do I need to open a small business bank account in Kenya?

When opening your account, you need the following:

  • National ID
  • Business KRA Pin and VAT
  • Filled bank form
  • Annual returns
  • Registration certificate

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