Well, yesterday was a very significant day for me. I am not sure exactly when it happened, but receiving money in Kenya through PayPal is now possible! Kenya is officially on of the PayPal supported countries.
Yesterday there was a heated discussion on the Skunkworks Kenya mailing list on whether one can use PayPal in Kenya. During this discussion, one of the skunks happened to visit the PayPal site and lo and behold Kenya was on the list of supported sites. It was not long before the skunks quickly tested and confirmed that receiving money in Kenya via PayPal is now actually possible!
Why is this important? Almost everybody knows about PayPal and they are the most popular company to process payments on the Internet. Many people will trust paying through PayPal because that’s what they normally use. In fact, in countries like the USA, if you do not offer an option for buyers on your e-commerce site to pay via PayPal, buyers will think twice before buying from you. Just using PayPal inspires trust amongst your potential customers.
Now that PayPal supports Kenya, I expect that e-commerce in Kenya shall grow even faster.
Unfortunately, you can receive money into your PayPal account in Kenya but you cannot yet withdraw it to a local bank account – you have to withdraw it to a US bank account. This is definitely going to be a hindrance for many, but there are rumours that PayPal is working with Equity and we shall soon be able to withdraw to an equity bank account in Kenya. Is this great, or what??
So, this is all great but how do you actually use PayPal to do e-commerce? Well, PayPal offers two main ways of getting paid:
- Anyone can send money to the email address that you used to sign up for PayPal and you will receive it int your account.
- You can integrate PayPal into your own website to power payment processing for your online shop. DukaPress is probably the easiest way to do this as it supports PayPal straight out of the box.