Anyone who does e-commerce from Kenya or wishes to receive payments online from Kenya knows the pain and hassle of it all. In other countries, the process is pretty straightforward but this is not so here in Kenya. For example, Paypal is the most popular online processing service but it is no good in Kenya. Kenyans using paypal can only send money and not receive it. Is there a way to go round this?
This is a question that was placed before me by Titus in my previous article about accepting payments online. As I sought to answer him, I felt that the answer would be useful to everyone interested in making money in Kenya and hence this post. When deciding on how you want to receive money, the first consideration is deciding who you intend selling to. If you want to sell to people in foreign lands you will face different challenges to that of selling online but to Kenyans within Kenya.
Receiving Money Online From Kenyans In Kenya
Generally, if you want to sell within Kenya, your choices are limited since many Kenyans do not have credit cards and those who do are still reluctant to buy from a website.
That leaves ‘off-line’ payments. These can be cheque, postal order, bank transfer, MPESA, ZAP, etc. Of course the problem with this is a matter of trust. MPESA (and possibly ZAP) is the closest that Kenya comes to an ‘online’ payment system. However, it is still not truly an automated system since the payment has to be processed manually. Here’s how to use MPESA to accept online payments.
Additionally, you can use some of the methods that follow to receive payments via credit card.
Receiving Money Internationally
The problem here is just that Paypal doesn’t work in Kenya. So we need a replacement that is just as good, or better. So I went out looking for third party payment processors who: can work in Kenya; have a solid reputation; seem professional. This is what I came up with:
AlertPay – A friend recommended AlertPay to me and I checked them out (very smooth website) and even signed up for an account with them. They seem to work well and I’d recommend you to try them out. Guess what? You can also make money online with AlertPay.
If you still really want to use Paypal,it can work if you can get yourself a bank account in a country in which Paypal offers money withdrawal services. Alternatively, you can deposit your Paypal funds in GetAfreelancer (or similar sites) and request them to pay you by bank transfer, for example.
What payment processing method do you use?