Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How to withdraw money from PayPal in Kenya

Withdrawing money from PayPal in Kenya is a key concern for many. PayPal is the leading online payments company in the world. Many online merchants only accept this form of payment. A large majority also prefer to make payments abroad via PayPal. The problem arises when you are paid via this service while in Kenya. PayPal currently does not support withdrawal of funds into a Kenyan bank account. The only available option in their interface is withdrawing to a US Bank account. Unfortunately, few Kenyans have access to US banking facilities which leaves them stuck with funds that they can only use to purchase goods and services online. However, there are actually a few ways to go about this problem and access your hard earned money.


  1. The first and most immediate solution is to send your PayPal funds to a friend or relative in the US. They can then withdraw the funds using their US bank account and remit the same to you via Western Union or any other money transfer service.
  2. The second option is to use the services of a broker. There are many Kenyans who have seen the business opportunity in this issue and are charging a fee withdraw PayPal funds on your behalf. You essentially send the funds to their PayPal account and they withdraw the money for you at a fee of between 20 and 30%. This is quite expensive but if you are in immediate need of cash it is an option you may want to look into.
  3. PayPal to Payoneer. There was a time when PayPal was not accepting Payoneer but is now fixed. This third option will take a slightly longer period but is the best long term solution. You would need to sign up for a virtual US Bank account. You have to be careful with this one because there are many online scams. The most reliable US Virtual bank account service is offered by a company known as Payoneer. Payoneer is a global payments, payouts and money transfer company. It provides companies with flexible means to pay staff and make other payments worldwide. For you to get a Payoneer MasterCard® which also comes with a US Virtual Bank Account, you have to sign up at their website. You will receive a Payoneer MasterCard® Debit card with an online account management interface. Use the US Bank account assigned to your card to withdraw PayPal funds. The funds become available in your Payoneer MasterCard®  within 3-4 working days. You can withdraw the cash using the MasterCard® Debit card at any ATM worldwide that displays the MasterCard® sign/logo e.g. Barclays, Equity, KCB, PesaPoint, CFC Stanbic, I&M and others. Payoneer currently works with hundreds of partners in many industries.  The screenshot below is from a real Payoneer MasterCard® Online account. Click here to sign up for Payoneer Prepaid 

  • The fourth and final option is to take advantage of Equity Bank's new PayPal withdrawal service. To use the service, you need to be an Equity Bank account holder in Kenya. To withdraw funds from your PayPal account to your Equity Bank account, you will need to visit the Equity Bank website and select the Equity Bank PayPal Withdraw Service link.  Next, follow the on-screen instructions. You will be directed to your PayPal account where you will log in and confirm the transaction. Equity Bank appears to have solved the problem of PayPal withdrawals by creating a service where you send them the funds in your PayPal account and they then proceed to withdraw the funds using their US Bank account. The funds are then remitted to Kenya (to your bank account) from their US account via wire transfer. Equity charges a fee of 1.5% of the transaction value as well as quoting a USD to KES exchange rate for each withdrawal transaction. The funds take 3 days to hit your bank account.

  • Tips & Warnings

    1. When using a relative or friend in the US, make sure you trust them completely.
    2. Some brokers have been known to 'disappear' once funds have been transferred to their PayPal account
    3. Signing up for the Payoneer card is free but as with any other bank issued card, there are usage fees for ATM withdrawal, annual maintenance, balance enquiry, lost card replacement etc. Card loading charges depend on the loading partner but usually average $2 per load. There is also a 3% currency risk fee on each withdrawal.
    4. The Equity withdrawal charges are 1.5% per transaction and an unknown exchange rate loss can be expected based on their buy/sell currency spread.



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