My last word on Paypal in Kenya … for now

Update: PayPal now works in Kenya! You can also now withdraw from PayPal through Babawatoto or LibertyReserve.

If someone had a dollar [or a sock] for every time I use this word, they could buy me a pizza. Actually, they could buy me a lot of pizzas. We mention Paypal a lot on this site, but Like Chapaa has specifically dealt with Paypal here, here, here, and here. And since most people don’t like to click on word links, I’ll break down a little. As you read the posts, look at the comments as well, they add a lot to the discussion. Sometimes, they give more information than the article itself.

  1. How to use Paypal in Kenya – getting a KCB card
  2. How to use Paypal in Kenya – drama with my KCB card
  3. We can now receive Paypal funds in Kenya – but we still can’t withdraw
  4. Paypal Kenya is advertising – which is a good sign, yes?

This morning, I received a GAF refund on Paypal, and to gain access to this money, I’m transferring it to a friend’s account in UK. Basically, I will move the funds from my Paypal account to his Paypal account. He will then withdraw the money and send it to me via Mpesa or Western Union, which is ridiculous really, but it’s the only way I can get the money.

This needs a little background. I get writing projects through GAF and Elance. Elance allows me to wire funds directly into my bank account, which takes five days, and costs about Ksh 200. GAF allows me to access money either through my Payoneer card or my Moneybookers account. Moneybookers wires the money directly to my bank, which also takes 5 days, and costs about the same as Elance transfers. Moneybookers accounts can be opened instantly by simply going to their website. There’s no charge to run the account, as long as you transact at least once in 18 months. Idle accounts cost $1.50 per month.

To get a Payoneer card you need to be registered with an affiliate site like GAF, and fit the affiliates requirements. For GAF, you must have earned at leats $30 to apply. GAF has jobs for writers, artists, IT people, architects – pretty much anyone can join, and it’s free unless you want a premium account at $24.95 per month. Totally worth it by the way.

Payoneer applications don’t recognize P.O.Box addresses, so you need to apply using your physical address, then as soon as your card is approved, you email them and ask them to change the shipping address to your P.O.Box number. There’s a charge of $9.95 to change the shipping address, and I received my card within a month. I can now use it at any local ATM that accepts Mastercard, and so far, I have made a withdrawal at a Barclays ATM. The ATM charge is about $2.

GAF only issues money on Mondays/Tuesdays, depending on your time zone, and to get money on Tuesday, you have to make a request by Sunday. Once GAF issues me the money, I can load my Payoneer card and withdraw it at any Mastercard ATM in Kenya or elsewhere.

Some clients prefer to pay through Paypal. I attached my Payoneer card to my Paypal account, thinking I could access Paypal funds that way, but it’s not allowed. I then transferred my Paypal funds to my GAF account, thinking I could withdraw from there, but GAF blocked the transaction. It’s against their policy to perform money exchanges, and they showed me where to find that on their FAQ. The back-and-forth process took two weeks.

So now, finally, I’ve decided not to load funds onto my Paypal. If a client insists on paying me that way, I’ll just put it down as spending money. I can use it on Paypal-compliant sites to buy stuff, but there’s still shipping costs to consider. Sadly, I can’t use it on Amazon, because it doesn’t give me  Paypal option. It prefers to go straight to my credit card. *groan*

James mentioned in the comments that it’s possible to get a virtual US account using my Payoneer card, so I asked Support about that. They said it’s a service dished out to selected customers on an invite-only basis, and reiterated that I need to fulfill some requirements, like having three loads on my card. So far, I have one load and one refund. Still, I wrote to for details, and I’m still waiting on a  response.

According to James, the virtual account would allow me to withdraw Paypal funds to the virtual US. These funds would then revert to my Payoneer card automaticaly, ready for withdrawal in Kenya. We have also heard rumours in the comments section that Equity is working with Paypal. I already have two bank accounts and a KCB credit card. I’m not sure I need more banks, but Paypal access is a pretty good reason to be a member.

Until that happens, my Paypal account is purely for decoration. I suppose I could use it as a savings account, since I technically can’t spend anything that’s in there – unless I spend it online. Hellooooo Kalahari! It accepts Paypal, right?

Crystal Ading’ is a professional author, editor, rock lover and mother. Her work is available through

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  1. Great info Kelvin

  2. HI Crystal,i have read your posts and i must say they were very informative.I joined GAF n Elance 3 days ago.No bids won yet.I am interested in writing and Admin projects.I am a beginner,give me tips on how to move forward.I just left employement,and want to try this as i look around.I do writing as a hobby but now want to make some extra money through it.How do i edit my profile so as to attract employers on GAF and Elance,considering i have no work published. I am so green at online freelancing i dont know how to kick start this,please enlighten me.Thank you


    • Hi Carol

      There’s no trick to it really, except to bid as many times as you can. Free membership on Elance gives you 10 connects, while GAF gives you 30 bids. If you get paid membership, you increase the number of bids you’re allowed per month, so you can try out for more jobs.

      If you don’t have any work published, you could consider starting a blog. You can get a free url at and Once you have a blog, write posts regularly, and mention your blog when you bid. I’ve had many clients say they chose me because they liked my blogging work. You could also write short stories and PDF them, which makes you a ‘published author’ because you will now have several e-books ‘By Carol’. Display them on your blog, and then put them on your profile and portfolio.

      Also, if you’re serious about writing, you should submit your work to websites like,, or I write on all three sites, and they are part of my freelance portfolio. If you write regularly, it shows potential clients that you’re reliable and consistent, so you can win jobs that way.

      Don’t give up. It takes a while to get into the system, and I’m learning every day, but if you don’t try, you won’t get anywhere. Good luck, and yell if you need anything 🙂

      • Thank you Crystal!! i will definitely do so,and yell for help if i meet road blocks.I appreciate you taking time to enlighten me and many others.

  3. also accepts paypal. Sup Kev!

  4. Paypal = a better word for “sucking!” The guys at Paypal suck big time. No. Really! I don’t do paypal no more. If Equity is working out something with these dudes, I will be a happy customer when that happens. Keep up the good work Ading. Over to your blog (you haven’t entertained me for almost two days and I am still reading “Helooooo drug addiction” over and over) Lol! keep the good work. Over and out!

  5. What is the receiving and withdrawal limit for a verified Kenyan paypal account.i expect to receive approximately $5,000 every month.

  6. what do you think of getting a 2checkout account? They can wire the funds, and they accept paypal. They do not accept donations, so for what ever it is that you will be paying for in 2CO using your paypal, will have to be for a good or service. There is a $50 fee to open an account and there is a cost to make the wire transfer.

    • 2CO can also transfer the cash to your Payoneer card

    • Just confirmed that Barclays Bank Kenya allows your paypal to be linked to your Barclays acc, the only catch is that the account needs to have a Credit Card, it will not work with a Debit Card.
      Another good news is that Co-Operative Bank can do the same, but does not need one to have a credit card with the account, a debit card will do.

      • Well, as long as a bank offers a (Visa) credit or debit card, it is possible to link that account to PayPal. You can add funds to PayPal through that card but you cannot withdraw to a local account (I just tested this 5 minutes ago).

        • Call Co-Operative Telkom 277 6000 Safaricom 0729 277 600 Zain 0736 690 101
          Barclays Tel: +(254) (20) 3900000 Mobile: +(254) (0) 722 130 120 Mobile: +(254) (0) 732 130 120
          I spoke to them, they said that we can withdraw payments.

      • Promulgatedkabisa says:

        OOh, now I get what you are saying. I think you are confusing verifying PayPal account with withdrawals. To verify a PP account, you can use any VISA/MasterCard branded card. This assures PayPal that the account belongs to a real person for the purposes of KYC rules. Once you verify an account, you can receive unlimited amounts in your PayPal account. That money however, needs to be withdrawn for it to be useful to you, unless you want to use it to pay other people. Thats where the US bank account comes in. But you can use Barclaycard/Co-Op card to verify PayPal but NOT for withdrawals. There a difference between the two.

  7. @Kelvin does National Bank work too. The do have an online banking system. But am yet to confirm with them how to go about getting the codes for confirmation from the statement. Which is the best bank for adding bank account to paypal. Anyone?

  8. Hi Kelvin, I am so confused with this paypal talk. I have currently worked with a client who paid me via GAF. I really want to withdraw this cash, but I don’t know how. I have a moneybookers account and a Paypal account. I have a bank account with KCB. please advice me on the best, simplest way to get this funds. Please Kelvin address this.

  9. use i &m bank

  10. PromulgatedKabisa says:

    I can confirm that you can withdraw money from PayPal using a Payoneer Virtual account. It takes about 2-3 days. PayPal does not charge anything for withdrawals (because the Account is in the US, hence they are able to make ACH payments into your virtual account. ACH payments are always free). Buuuuuuut, payoneer itself charges some money, depending on the amount transferred. I think for about $1000 I was charged kitu $20 or thereabouts. @Kevin, should you need a screenshot to confirm this, I will be happy to provide one.

  11. Tired…tired and tired of this PayPal issue. A few months ago it was all celebration on this blog when PayPal integrated Kenya on the receive option. Now the mood is somber when they can’t let us withdraw our fruits form our 3rd world banks. I guess I’ll forget about it till I read a lasting solution from this blog…….Worst way to end the year!!!!!

  12. promulgatedkabisa: you were able to do that?? I also have payoneer account. Good to learn that i can withdraw funds from paypal into payoneer!

  13. Monirul Nanok says:

    Hi I have some money in my pay pal account and I am in Kenya so I am very new with this system and I do not how I can withdrew money from there .Please help me

  14. How to load my payoneer card with Paypal? I need to verify my card (with paypal) but it has zero balance.

  15. I would like to thank Like chapaa for the info it gives kenyans working online.

    @PromulgatedKabisa and Innocent Mwangi

    Yes, I finally got a US virtue bank account with Payoneer and I can now withdraw my Paypal cash via the virtue account. If you use Payoneer visa card from Elance or, all you will need to do is contact their customer service and request for a virtue US bank account. They will request for your ID and answers to some basic info questions. Within a few weeks, they will activate your account and you will be able to withdraw Paypal cash into your Payoneer virtue account and consequently into your card. The charge is $20 per year- real deal.

  16. Albert Nyadawa says:

    Ok so do you mean some KCB guy lied to me, cause i was there yesterday (19th April 2011, that’s right) and he told me i needed a general purpose card for only 1000 bob, it had monthly deductions of Ksh. 100 and a fee of Ksh. 20 per withdrawal and then i would be able to withdraw from my paypal account into my KCB account…sounds pretty much the same thing you were told, bt u said u couldn’t withdraw, are banks lying now just to make profit???

  17. First, i want to thank like Chapaa for bringing forth such invaluable information. I have tried to link my Equity credit card with paypal account on two occasions but havent received the 4 digits required to verify the a/c.

    Does this mean paypal doesn’t work with Equity credit cards?


    • santa munga says:

      i have equally tried to link my equity credit card to paypal and i have failed. is there a solution for this really

      • Hey,

        I linked my equity visa card successfully with paypal. All you have to do is initiate the verification procedure via paypal (and they will charge some fee which is less than 2 dollars). Then after one or 2 days, this charged fee will be reflected in your bank account. If you print a statement of your account, you will find the 4-digit pin under the “PARTICULARS” field of the bank statement together with other transaction details. Once you go back to paypal, all you have to do is key in the 4 digits and the verification will be instant.
        Also, I talked to some manager at equity over the phone and she said that, currently, allows for withdrawals via paypal at a fee of 600kshs. However, I am yet to confirm the exact details of how this is done. Once i do so, I will gladly get back with the details

        • Hi Nicholas. Did you ever find out if you can withdraw cash from paypal with your equity visa card?

  18. Jan Zigbe says:

    1] AlertPay wires money to Kenyan banks. How reliable is AlertPay?
    2] Some banks in Kenya receive their USD money via American banks. Can this loophole be used to withdraw from PayPal? For example to receive wired money into First Community Bank you have to give the address “Via First American Bank, New York…. “

  19. Interesting comments here.. i’ve also been having the same issue with paypal. Am still trying to get the said payoneer card but yesterday i found a blog(i think by a kenyan) who offers instant transfers at a 10% charge. the procedure is something like this- you get in touch with him(mail or text) and quote the amount you would like to transfer. he then creates a project on freelancer and an escrow amount equaling the amount you want transferred. you then transfer money from your paypal account to his, then he sends you money directly to your phone. you will then be required to cancel the escrow created earlier.

    So am wondering is there a loophole am not seeing(is it possible for him to reverse the escrow in freelancer without my permission). anyone with ideas you can reach me on (i need money quickly but i can’t afford to be conned)

  20. bwana kevin we need to talk…this issue need to be put to its good rest. Kenyans cannot suffer this much!

  21. I have been reading all the comments on this site regarding the use of paypal in Kenya with a lot of interest. My three years Freelance writing experience has enlightened me in a big way on online payment systems. I strictly write on GAF and can therefore authoritatively indicate that you can withdraw money from your paypal account through your GAF account.. Simply go to your GAF account and select upload funds. Choose paypal as your method of uploading funds and go through the process. It is the most simple and legal way of withdrawing your paypal funds in Kenya. You can thereafter withdraw any method you normally use to withdraw funds from GAF, which can be through Moneybookers, Payoneer Debit card (which i use) or any other possible means. Thank you.

  22. santa munga says:

    @ kevin i tried to add funds using from my equity bank visa activated account and it failed. please advise

  23. I can’t believe it is the end of yet another year and we are still trying to withdraw funds from paypal. I am not a risk taker when it comes to money, have lost a few $$ so I hesitate using any method unless I see people using it. So instead of going on and on and on about this, everyone just state what you use, procedure and how much it costs, just say it out here no emails no nothing! I think that can really help all of us! And Happy New Year everyone hope next year we will have a different problem! 😛


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