PayPal Coming to Kenya in 2012?

Rumor has it that you will soon be able to withdraw your PayPal funds in Kenya legally and easily.

This could not have come at a better time since we spent last year going from disappointment to disappointment with all the new services and “tricks” that we had to try out in order to withdraw our PayPal money in Kenya.

That will be no more. PayPal is currently working with two leading Kenyan banks in an effort to bring us this needed service very soon.

We’ll update this when we have more information.

Another Way to Withdraw Money From PayPal in Kenya

Following our recent article on how to withdraw cash from PayPal via Liberty Reserve, we found another much easier way. This is thanks to bonchisdecha.

Update: PayMPESA Helps Withdraw Your PayPal Funds to MPESA have an innovative service which they call “Tuma Pesa“. This is tailored for Kenyans in the diaspora who want to send money back home. However, nothing restricts you from using the service to send money to yourself – ama? will let you send money to anyone in Kenya and he will receive it on his mobile phone. The useful thing is that will let you pay via PayPal. This means one could easily send, say Kshs 20,000/-, through to his own mobile number and pay via PayPal. This will effectively mean that you have transferred money from your PayPal account into your mobile phone – ready to use locally!

You just need to visit this page to get started.

Kudos to for providing such a needed service.

Update 17 May 2011 – The above method does NOT work from within Kenya. Learn more. 🙁

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

PayPal Now Works in Kenya!

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:

  1. Anyone can send money to the email address that you used to sign up for PayPal and you will receive it int your account.
  2. 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.

Update: PayMPESA Helps Withdraw Your PayPal Funds to MPESA

Update: You can also now withdraw from PayPal through Babawatoto or LibertyReserve.