Friday, June 6, 2014

How to Send Money to Kenya Online: Skrill to M-pesa

Are you a Kenyan working in the UK, Europe, USA, Middle East or anywhere else and need to send money home? Well, sending money to Kenya from UK or Europe has never been easier. In addition to several other remittance options, you can now send money to Kenya via Mpesa online. You don't need to visit an Mpesa agent in your country. This has been made possible by the International payments provider Skrill (formerly Moneybookers).

Skrill is a global e-commerce company that facilitates online payments much the same way that PayPal does. The major advantage over PayPal is its wide range of international withdrawal and payment methods that includes Kenya's groundbreaking M-Pesa.

Instructions: Skrill to Mpesa Online

  1. Create an account on the Skrill website.
  2. Enter your account details and complete the sign-up process.
  3. You will receive an email asking you to verify the account. Click on the account verification link provided.
  4. Next thing you need to do is to add a credit/debit card and/or bank account to your Skrill account. This will serve as your source of funds anytime you want to remit money to Kenya or make online payments.
  5. To send money to Kenya via M-Pesa, look for the Skrill IT logo in your account as shown in the screen capture below.
  6. In the next window, scroll down and look the link, "send money directly to an M-PESA mobile wallet in Kenya."
  7. Click on "Send money to Kenya now".
  8. Select your country of residence from the drop down menu and enter the amount you want to send to Kenya. Select Kenya from the "recipient will receive" menu. Take note of the amount the amount the recipient will receive. Skrill converts the currency to Kenya shillings at the wholesale exchange rate they offer plus a fee of 3.99% for remittances to Kenya involving conversion of USD, GBP, EUR, CAD and PLN currencies.
  9. Click on Mpesa to enter the recipients name. In the next window, enter the recipients name and mobile phone number. 
  10. At this point the rest is really quite straightforward, you will be given the option of logging into your account if you haven't already logged in. Select the payment method which will be the credit/debit card or bank account you used during registration. 
  11. Review and confirm the details and click send. 
  12. The recipient in Kenya receives the funds instantly! You also get a web and email confirmation. 
  13. Call your recipient to confirm they have the cash in their M-Pesa account.
  14. Leave a comment below thanking me for providing you with this useful information :)

Tips & Warnings

  • When you compute the total fee, that is, the exchange rate offered, exchange rate risk fee (3.99%) and the transfer fee (sending money costs 1% of the amount sent but is capped at a maximum of €10), Skrill is considerably cheaper than using an M-Pesa agent but with the added convenience of not having to physically visit the agent. 


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How to Use Facebook Pages for Business in Kenya

Is your Kenyan business on Facebook? If not, you are losing out on a huge potential to reach out to a wider customer base and build a recognizable brand. It doesn't matter if you are a small, medium or large business. In today's Internet crazed Kenya, if you are not on Facebook, you might as well not exist!

To make the best of Facebook for business, you need to understand all the tools available, how to use them, set them up and best practices. Piecing this puzzle together will enable you to manage your Facebook marketing efforts with ease and obtain tangible results.

A Bit of Housekeeping

There are a few things you need to take note of before you begin using Facebook Pages for business.

Never Create a Personal Facebook Profile for a Business

Personal profiles on Facebook are for individuals. Do not use a personal profile to promote your business.

Separate Work & Play

A business page on Facebook should be strictly used for business. Don't post your personal stuff on that page. This is recommended to build your business’ reputation.

How to Create a Facebook Business Page

A Facebook Page helps you connect with potential customers ("fans" in Facebook lingo). These pages are designed for businesses, products, brands and other things that Facebook users can "like".
There are two ways to create a Facebook Page:

  1. If you are already a Facebook user, you can create a page for your business from within your personal profile. In the left hand column, click on Pages and then Create a Page.
  2. If you don't have a Facebook profile (which is really weird) you can create a Facebook Page by going directly to Facebook Pages where you can create a page.

Facebook Page Activity, Insights & Settings

After creating the page you can view activity from other users by clicking on the Activity tab. The insights tab provides you with statistical data about your page is performing while the settings tab allows you to make various changes to your page such as post visibility, tagging ability, country restrictions, privacy and much more.

The insights tab is especially important because it allows you to monitor the success of your marketing activities.

Tips & Tricks to make your Business Shine on Facebook

Make your Page Interesting - Upload a great looking cover image and profile picture.

Create Engaging Content - Be interesting! create content that people want to read and share. Ask questions, tell stories and encourage comments. Whatever you do, don't allow your content to sound like an advertisement. Remember, people go to Facebook to hang out with friends and read interesting content so don't bore them with a post that is obviously an ad. This calls for great creativity on your part. For example, see these amazing posts that "advertise without advertising."

Type: Fill in the Blank

Type: share or like

You can also use photos to show a product's value or feature. Photos are the most shared and talked about things on Facebook, so take full advantage of this. If you want to advertise on Facebook, Pages isn't where to do it, use Facebook Ads instead but take note that there is a cost associated with that whereas Facebook Pages are a free way to market your business on Facebook.

Share Links to Great Content - share links to your company website or blog. If you don't have a website for your business, learn how to create a website for your business cheaply. If you are posting links to your product or service, let your audience know how the product or service will help them without saying it directly.

Giveaways & Contests - If you can afford it, create giveaways and contests. For example, ask people to "like" your page to stand a chance to win a prize or take part in a raffle. The prize doesn't have to be something expensive. It could something as simple as mobile phone airtime or something with great mass market appeal such as the latest Samsung smartphone. Be creative!

Promote your Facebook Business Page Offline - one of the best ways to do this is to print your Facebook page URL on your business card. Also, include your page link it as a footer signature on all your outgoing emails. This will bring more people to your page, increase interaction and grow your customer base.


Facebook marketing is an area that morphs rapidly and without warning. Keep yourself regularly updated on these changes by reading The Facebook blog and other related content online.

Suggested Reading
Mpesa Integration to Website

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How to Replace a Lost, Mutilated or Expired Kenyan Passport

Is your Kenyan passport lost, expired or mutilated? If so, then you need to replace. This article outlines the requirements, fees and time period it will take to renew or replace your passport.

Passport Replacement/Renewal Instructions

With effect from 15th April 2015, new rules were put into place requiring all passport applications to made via eCitizen. Manual applications are no longer accepted.  You can download the application form from eCitizen but you must present yourself in person to any immigration office in Kenya (Nyayo house, Mombasa & Kisumu) or if you are not resident in Kenya, visit any Kenyan mission abroad for digital photo capture.
You will need the following documents:

For an Expired/Filled up Passport

  1. Passport application Form 19
  2. Expired/filled up passport original and a copy
  3. Three passport size color photos of yourself. One of the photographs must be certified as your true likeness by a recommender
  4. A certified copy your recommender’s National ID Card

For a Mutilated Passport

  1. Passport application form
  2. Mutilated Passport original and a copy
  3. An affidavit explaining how the passport got mutilated 
  4. Three passport size color photos of yourself.  One of the photographs must be certified as your true likeness by a recommender
  5. A certified copy your recommender’s National ID Card

For a Lost Passport

  1. Original Birth Certificate
  2. Passport application form
  3. Three passport size color photos of yourself.  One of the photographs must be certified as your true likeness by a recommender
  4. An affidavit explaining how the passport got lost
  5. Police abstract
  6. A certified copy your recommender’s National ID Card
  7. A letter addressed to the Director of Immigration explaining how the passport got lost

In order to be issued with a temporary permit as your passport is being processed, you will also need to provide the following documents:
  1. Temporary Permit application form
  2. National ID card original and a copy
  3. Two color passport size photos

Tips & Warnings

  • Take note that you must present yourself in person at the immigration office
  • Fee payment is made via a banker's cheque drawn in favor of "Director of Immigration Services".
  • If you are under 18, you must obtain a consent letter from your parents or guardian and a copy of their national ID card.
  • Your national ID is a mandatory requirement with every type of application.
  • Immigration officials may require more information from you.
  • See the list of Kenyan passport fees and charges.


Republic of Kenya Immigration Department


Suggested Reading
Errand Services in Nairobi

Kenyan Passport Fee Charges

This article provides details on fees and charges for a Kenya passport. These articles provide details on how to apply for Kenyan passport and how to replace or renew a passport.

Fees (in Ksh)
Waiting Period 
New Application 
A series 4,500
B series 6,000
C series 7,500 
10 days 
A series 4,500
B series 6,000
C series 7,500
4 days 
Lost Passport 
12,000 (payable by Banker’s cheque) 
4 days
Mutilated Passport 
(payable by Banker’s cheque) 
4 days
East African Passport
2 days
Diplomatic Passport
5 days
Temporary Passport
30 minutes
Source: Kenya Department of Immigration

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mortgage/Car Loan Calculator

We have provided this loan calculator for comparison purposes. The result is a close approximation of the actual car loan or mortgage amount you will pay to you bank or financier.

To use it, enter the value of the loan amount, repayment period in months and the rate of interest e.g. "18" for eighteen percent. Do not use the "%" symbol. Click the Calculate button. The Reset button clears the values.

Description Data Entry
Loan Amount
Loan Length in Months
Interest Rate
Monthly PaymentCalculated
Enter only numeric values (no commas), using decimal points where needed.
Non-numeric values will cause errors.
This free script provided by
JavaScript Kit

Suggested Reading

Africa Land Mass: What is the True Size of Africa?

Did you know that Africa is larger than the United States, China and India combined? Africa's physical land mass is actually ten times larger than India. However, the map of the world that we are used to depicts Africa as smaller than it really is.

The reason for this is simply the fact that a sphere cannot be represented on a flat surface without distortion. Using the map projection above we have become accustomed to over many years (Mercator Projection), Africa looks about the same size as Greenland despite actually being 14 times larger. You can actually "fit" the US, China, India and several other countries in Africa as shown in Kai Krause's representation below.

While this was quite accidental, it has given the illusion of power and importance to the US and mainland Europe. The true size of Africa in comparison with other continents is shown below using Gall-Peters projection map.


Wikipedia - Map Projection

The True Size of Africa by Kai Krause