Updates on Receiving Payments Online in Kenya

We recently wrote about two new ways to convert money in your PayPal account into money in your hands in Kenya. These were:

But there is bad news. It seems the currency exchange method may be risky in that you can get scammed. As for Babawatoto.com, at least on Like Chapaa reader has complained that babawatoto.com do not accept requests originating from within Kenya.

We reached out to babawatoto.com for their views on this issue and this is the response that we got:


Thanks for your email.Due to past and current fraud concerns,we dont process any orders originating from Kenya or with a Kenyan paypal address.


Customer Support,
Babawatoto Online
Email: Info@babawatoto.com
Web link:http://babawatoto.com

SO there you have it. If you live in Kenya then babawatoto.com will not help you and, indeed, there are literally no ways to withdraw your PayPal money from within Kenya. How sad. 🙁

As far as receiving payments online from within Kenya, here is the situation thus far (thanks to yeronly):

  1. Paypal – there’s a comprehensive review about this in this (likechapaa) website. The best we have come to withdrawing in kenya without minimal hustles, from reviews of products offered, is babawatoto (sending money to ones mobile) whose advantages are those of mobile money transfer, and disadvantages include a bit expensive and quite low limit (upper limit is ksh. 20,000 for which the charge, at current exchange rate of ksh. 82/dollar is around ksh. 2,300 ). However, babawatoto.com has confirmed that they do not serve requests originating from Kenya.
  2. Moneybookers – Allows wire transfers to local banks; could get challenges being paid by US clients from this. some (entities) will deduct as much as 5% if this is the mode of payment. With your P. O box number, they send a confirmation code to P. O box (received one within a month’s time), once confirmed, your transfer limit is increased.
  3. Alertpay – allows wire transfers; main undoing, as is for moneybookers, is that most clients in the US will prefer Paypal.
  4. Payoneer – this is a mastercard that is issued via partner websites (e.g. Elance, freelancer.com, etc; one must be a member at one of such partner sites to apply). one applies via a street address (e.g. Ngong road, Mombasa road, Kikuyu; then one provides ones post office box – via email – for shipping purposes). Waiting time varies, but received their card within a month. Withdraws in any mastercard supported ATMs (recently since barclays never charges for ATM withdraws, it is the best bet). Card activation $ 12. Standard loading i.e. depositing money to card (2 days) they charge $ 2; some other premium loading – immediate loading i.e within 2hrs they charge $5. monthly maintenance $ 3 Paypal does not allow withdrawing to this card unless you create a virtual US account at Payoneer which attracts additional charges.
  5. Wire transfer – used only one bank for this and it charged ksh. 600 and exchanged at lower-than-market rates. The best option here: create a dollar (foreign currency) account, withdraw money once in, exchange in a forex bureau (their rates are a bit high than banks’), deposit your ksh back if you please.

And that’s how it is! Currently.

Additional Resources


  1. There is another way I use equivalent to babawatoto. Been using it for 18 months now. For example, to withdraw $48 you get about ksh 3060 or so through mpesa. Accepts Kenyan Paypal address. Let me talk to them and see if they have a problem with telling others about them. They fear Paypal since they had their chums frozen or something. Thanks

  2. moneyboy says:

    Hey I have a headache right now…..I have been reading and there is no way out..for paypal in Kenya..I found out about Card444.com ..has anyone used their services..they look promising but I never read the ToS..because I am looking out for a way to get my money…I have actually closed my paypal acct……The Kcb method is…just not for me….I am not ready to part with 1500 for nothing..I mean a card that cannot do anything for me at the moment. I am a freelancer..and currently am not ,getting much..but I got like three deals..and they all require paypal..I have been using moneybookers and its great because in two hours my money is safely tucked in my pockets! anyone help me out..

  3. I previously had trouble withdrawing money from my PayPal account, but not no more. There are 3 legitimate ways so far that I use. You can try any of these below:

    1. If you are lucky to have a friend, relative e.t.c in the U.S.A, you can link up with their bank account (I’ve linked mine with Bank of America through a friend) so that you can withdraw directly to that bank account. This is what I do quite often as I get payments online for my design and hosting services.

    2. The second way is more or less the same as the first one, but the only difference is that there are 3 parties involved. For example, if you know me (referring to someone with a linked PayPal account), you can send me your PayPal balance, then I will withdraw the money to my friend’s U.S account, then they will Western Union, and then U get M-Pesad.

    3. The third way is through luck and common sense. If you have a friend or a business partner, whatever, who wants to purchase something with their credit card, you can ask them to use your PayPal balance (If it is sufficient for what they are purchasing) and then they give you the cash. I hope that was helpful.

    NB: Always be careful with your PayPal account details. It’s not advisable to give too much of your info because you are desperate to withdraw.

    • moneyboy says:

      thanks Joseph, I have been trying to evade the third party method……it can be inconveniencing…any idea about virtual banks in the US?

  4. @moneyboy I really haven’t tried setting up a virtual account before. But from what I hear, risks are involved just like any other way, especially if you are a novice. Also, you are guranteed to part with a couple of dollars before it gets set up. You might want to give it a shot if you can, then let us know if it actually works.

    • moneyboy says:

      There is a guy who has just told me that he uses his unverified paypal and withdraws from a third party..am yet to receive the procedure..He’l be sending it soon…..the problem is the limitations of up to $500……and also I read on an anti-paypal site that the ToS dictate that your account can be closed without any warning for any reason and the process cannot be appealed…its a risk but

  5. @moneyboy you ought to stick to ToS. I bet it’s better to stick with their terms, no matter how strict they can be than loosing your hard-earned bucks if they block your account . Good luck!

    • We have stopped direct dealings with paypal for the time being, however in our bid to assist our members to cash in their money from paypal accounts, we have come up with the following options:

      1. Go to this website: http://chuchihosting.com.

      2.The penguin icons represent various denominations of money. Chums 45 for instance represent a value of 45 USD and will cost you 50 USD (10% being our commission).

      3.Choose the plan you wish. Note that you can choose the units in your baskets, e.g if you want to withdraw USD 90 from your PayPal, you could choose the Chums 45 and indicate a quantity of 2. 100 USD will be deducted from your paypal account and you shall receive 90USD (10% being our commission).

      4. You will be requested to provide us with your details including your email address.

      5.Proceed to checkout.

      6. Choose 2checkout as your mode of payment and you will be directed to a page where you can select paypal. You will then be directed into your PayPal account. Complete the payment procedure.

      7.Note that 2checkout normally go through a verification process which could take up to 24 hours. We will credit your e-pesa account once we receive the go ahead from 2checkout. You can thereafter withdraw from your ePAY-KENYA account.

      8.Please note that any fee charged by 2 checkout will be deducted from your ePAY_KENYA account (5.75%).

      9.For Moneybookers, the money is withdrawn from ePAY account directly at a commission of 10%.

      10. You will receive the money within the hour after withdrawal to your Mpesa. Please note that payments are only made between 8.am – 9pm, from Monday to Saturday. The withdrawal charge is $3 irrespective of how much you withdraw.

  6. Epay Kenya is very very expensive …..the total charge of their services is 17%.try Paympesa.It has worked for me and it is very cheap

  7. So let me get this straight…
    If I have a MoneyBookers account, I can WITHDRAW my funds to any Kenyan bank via SWIFT transfer? If this ‘is’ the case, then fu*k PayPal. Right?
    So then you just have to ENCOURAGE everyone to hook up with MoneyBookers and you’re done.
    And if you have a website, most shopping carts have MB gateways built in too.

    • The problem is that in most of the cases, people paying for work done online always want to pay via PayPal (and get suspicious when you want to use a system they are not familiar with – thank the Nigerian scams for this).

  8. Ah ok! Can MoneyBookers handle this scenario:
    I send a Request for Payment (or Funds) to an email address. Does this user need to sign up with MoneyBookers before he can pay me with his Visa/MasterCard? PayPal does not force the buyer to sign up. They act like a merchant and just charge the buyer’s card WITHOUT them signing up — VERY IMPORTANT!!


  1. […] Update 17 May 2011 – The above method does NOT work from within Kenya. Learn more. […]

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