Today I came across a very interesting new service: NationHela.

So what is NationHela? According to them:

NationHela is a new, simpler and more convenient international money transfer service that allows you to receive money, from anywhere in the world, straight to your NationHela prepaid Visa card and mobile phone. A prepaid card is one in which you need to load money first in order to use and therefore keeps you in total control of what you spend. A prepaid card is different from a debit card or credit card in that it is not linked to your bank account nor can you spend money that you don’t have. Just like carrying cash in your pocket, you only spend what you have, but in a safer and more convenient way.

The NationHela card is available in Kenya at DTB branches, NationHela agents and at Nakumatt supermarkets. Individuals based in the diaspora will be able to log in here to send funds directly to a Kenyan NationHela account.

You can also top up your account in Kenya at any NationHela agent location or through M-PESA. All funds in your NationHela account are accessible through your NationHela prepaid VISA card or your mobile phone.

The most interesting thing about NationHela?

Simply log on to and send money home instantly from your Paypal account, Debit or Credit Card ( Inclusive of Visa, Mastercard and Amex).

Could this mean that one can finally easily withdraw from PayPal Kenya? Dear readers, has anyone of you tried this method to withdraw from PayPal?

Update: An interesting point of view by J. Nyagudi:

Think of it this way.

I’m a Kenyan and I want to withdraw through Paypal, so I take a trip
to London and open an account with XYZ bank in London, and have a visa
card attached to it. I then tell the bank that I will be using the
VISA card on international ATM’s POSs etc. I also open up (or update)
my Paypal account to confirm the bank for withdrawals and so on and so

I then take the 8 hour flight back to Nairobi with visa card on hand.
From then whenever i want to withdraw i just “push” to my UK bank
account which i can withdraw from any visa ATM here in Kenya.

Now parter that bank with a bank here; so that it can issue visa cards
on behalf of the UK bank (long distance agency banking) (look closely
at the BIN of the card), DTB is here to make the CBKs here happy, and
as they always say, talk to a bank, if they are happy we are happy
since we regulate them.

and there you have it

Additional Resources


  1. Very interesting. I think this should work.

  2. It may work, or it may not work. The Nation should have asked PayPal to update their websites and state that Kenyans in Kenya can now withdraw funds to NOT only U.S. Bank Account/card.

    • Well, hold your horses guys. I tried this service by withdrawing USD 10 on Friday 17th Aug. Today is 22nd Aug and I have not received my money, neither has anyone bothered to contact me. My paypal account was charged. There is very scanty information about paypal withdrawals. I have been struggling to get the ‘worst kept’ secret by the Nation Hela team – RATES. Following are facts that stand out about this new service:
      1. They have not told you that their payment processing engine is powered by yet a third party called 3G Direct Pay. In a deal that involves Paypal-DTB-Nation Media-3G Direct, do not expect a soft landing on rates.
      2. Just found out from paypal (in pursuit of my ‘swallowed’ usd 10) that 3G Direct Pay is NOT authorized by paypal to facilitate direct withdrawals from paypal accounts. Let us wait and see how this will work out eventually but do not be surprised to find paypal out of their offering list.

      Let me say that if this works well at competitive rates, this would be dream come true for all of us, but then, it is good to be aware of the above facts as you engage.

      • Your prediction was right Justus. They left us high and dry. Clearly they had not done their homework. With paypal, big corporate names in Kenya mean nothing until our anti-money laundering laws are enacted. Period!!!

  3. It is meant for Kenyans abroad to send money home. So you can send money from your paypal account to your own Nationhela card. You will not be officially withdrawing. But, I hear the exchange rates they give are bad. So might not be that good a deal.

    • @ Jan Zigbe,

      In that case, this won’t make much difference to the thousands of Western Union outlets we already have in Kenyan banks. Kenyans abroad should have no problem using Western Union, SWIFT, M-Pesa or wire transfer to send money home.

      In the past, this blog has involved itself in trying to find out if it’s possible for Kenyans who work online to use Pay Pal and be able to withdraw their earnings through Kenya banks.

    • I think it can work great for withdrawing from PayPal, please have a look at the update I made to the post.

  4. and the way those nation guys have given me alot of psyke when they have posted a 2 page advert today on the paper…..I hope they really itergrate it with paypal..if those paypal guys only knew how much business they are loosing from us!

  5. geraldo matiri says:

    Kindly notify me if it works with paypal

  6. Wanda Stone says:

    Hey guys, I can say for sure that it works. I have withdrawn 50 dollars and it went through. What I would like say is that this is not a service meant to be used by Kenyans living in Kenya but those from abroad who want to send money home. It however is a good thing that those of us living in Kenya can ride on the privilege. The worst thing is to go the way that Justus Njoroge is doing it. If you start sending too many complains about your swallowed dollars without even finding out what is the objective behind this service, you will only be making it possible for PayPal to scrap this privilege and leave the service only for Kenyans abroad.

  7. I have always been quick at trying new things, but here I have to wait till someone really testifies that I can directly use this card to channel the PayPal dollars home.

  8. The bottom line is NationHela is not the solution for Paypal that Kenyans have been looking. The solution to withdraw from PayPal to a local bank account lies in the legislation. An agency with a foreign bank won’t cut it.. I reviewed NationHela in respect on PayPal on this Post

    • Yes, we listen to our customers and take action as appropriate as we can given the circumstances. We are happy to announce that effective 13/09/2012, the deposit commission rate will go down from 10%+1.5 to 8.5%+1.5. The Withdrawal fee will remain the same (USD 3). This is more so in appreciation of your loyalty over this period of excitement. As has always been our tradition, all our rates are published on our website, meaning no hidden surprises. Our calculator has been revised to reflect the new rates. You can count on our commitment to continue serving you diligently.

      ePAY-KENYA Team

  9. The method works. I have been withdrawing more than 100 dollars weekly, and I can say that the moment my card was fully operational, I have not had any regrets. They take at most six hours to have your money in. I agree that it may not be an official method but it is much more reliable than other gutter brokers. We should pay credit to Nation for an innovation.

  10. this is a failure product. do you know the amount they are spending on this. its crazy. and the thing does not work. why would i do this compared to WU who have this figured out. plus dtb is not a bank to trust. mr gitahi – pls remove those fools around u

  11. Like Mike Ndegwa has said, the solution to withdraw money from Pay Pal to a local outlet in Kenya by Kenyans living in Kenya and without US bank accounts lies in the legislation by CBK/Ministry of Finance. Any other arrangements are against Pay Pal terms of use and can result in Pay Pal freezing all your money in your account.

  12. Am shocked with all these comments…I thought that its all well when the Nation Hela was released and given so much publicity…Kumbe we are still at the same spot we were about withdrawing money from paypal. Anyway…We will keep waiting.

  13. From experience, it worked perfectly for the first 10 minutes, then I found out you could only do a maximum of 3 daily transactions. Now the card is not recognised anywhere and the USSD menu on withdrawals doesnt work. Their website has too many bugs and cant get passed registering the card before being logged out. Their customer care dont know what is happening…. I just rather not use them actually

  14. NationHela is crap.I bought the card but cant activate due to errors with the *348hash USSD.Crappy shit

  15. lagvier says:

    But equity bank has also solved the paypal problem. but does anyone know the rates?

Speak your mind