Banking Terms Glossary

Banking Terms Glossary kbaadmin May 11, 2022

Below is a list of frequent terms bank customers often hear when communicating with their bank representatives.

Don’t see a term you’d like to know about? Email to add to the list of terms.

Most bank provide auto loans for new and used vehicles. This allows the consumer to drive a car while paying for it each month.

The 44 banks currently operating in Kenya have diverse products targeted at specific market segments. Among the products and services offered by banks in the Kenyan market are:

  1. Loans
  2. Overdrafts
  3. Mortgages
  4. Trade Finance
  5. SME and Business Banking services
  6. Corporate services
  7. Foreign Exchange services
  8. Financial management advice

A general term for any plastic card which a customer may use to pay for goods and services or to withdraw cash.

A card, other than a charge card or credit card, which is covered by the ATM network.

An automated teller machine (ATM) or free-standing machine, in which a customer can use their card to get cash, information and other services.

Organisations, which hold information about people, that is useful to lenders. Banks may contact these agencies for information to help them make various decisions, for example, whether or not to open an account or provide loans or credit. Banks may also give information to the agencies.

A system which banks use to help them make decisions about whether to lend money. Credit scoring measures the likelihood that a customer will repay a loan on time. Each bank has its own scoring metrics therefore members of staff are best placed to explain the specific process for their respective banks.

A savings account which is:

  • no longer opened by customers (this could be because it has been withdrawn from sale by the bank or for some other reason); or
  • not actively marketed or promoted to customers; and
  • not a fixed-rate account.

Any account where the volume and nature of transactions has fallen to a level, which is categorised by the bank as inappropriate for the account or product type. Each bank has its own definition for dormant accounts; therefore members of staff are best placed to explain based on their bank’s product requirements.

Any card, or function of a card, which contains real value in the form of electronic money, which someone has paid for beforehand. Some cards can be reloaded with more money and can be used for a range of purposes.

An interest rate, which is guaranteed not to change over a set period of time.

This applies to products and services, which have a set lifetime. The customer may be charged if the bank agrees to alter the product or service before the end of its life.

A promise given by a person called ‘the guarantor’ to pay another person’s debts if that person does not pay them.

Secured loans provided exclusively for the purchase or improvement of housing, usually over a period of at least 5 years. In some instances other types of loan can serve the same purpose.

An ordinary account will normally have the following features:

  • income can be paid by employers directly into the account;
  • cheques and cash can be paid into the account;
  • cash can be withdrawn at cash machines or counters;
  • there is no overdraft.

A selection of personal facts and information (in an order which only the customer knows), which is used for identification when using accounts.

A cheque, which has not been paid because the date written on the cheque is too old, normally older than six months.

A word or an access code, which the customer has chosen to allow them to use telephone or home-banking services. It is also used for identification.

A person who has an account (including a joint account with another person or an account held as an executor or trustee, but not including the accounts of sole traders, partnerships, companies, clubs and societies) or who receives other services from a bank.

A confidential number, which allows customers to withdraw cash and use other services at a cash machine. This number should not be shared or disclosed to anyone, even bank employees or security agents.

A secured personal loan issues cash or a cheque to the borrower. However, the borrower must provide the bank with interest in collateral (security) such as a savings account, a title deed, motor vehicle log book, etc.

A word used to describe valuable items such as title deeds to property, share certificates, life policies and so on, which represent assets used as support for a loan. Under a secured loan, the lender has the right to sell the security if the loan is not repaid.

Standard Account Services

An unsecured personal loan allows a borrower to get a cheque or cash and pay it back in set installments over a fixed period of time. No collateral or specific loan purpose is required.

This is a cheque, which, after being paid into the account of the person it is written out to, is returned ‘unpaid’ (bounced) by the bank whose customer issued the cheque. This leaves the person the cheque was written out to without the money in their account.