PayPal Partners With Kenya’s Equity Bank For Remittances Withdrawal Service.

Its been a long time coming but finally one can use PayPal in Kenya to withdraw funds based on an update I was just alerted to via a popular technology mailing list in Kenya. Its a well-known fact that Kenyans in the Diaspora are key drivers behind the Kenyan economy through the large amounts of money in remittances they send every month into the country.

This is clearly a move by Equity Bank, which is one of the largest banks in Kenya to tap into the popularity of electronic remittances from Kenyan Diaspora via the hugely popular PayPal service. According to statistics from the Central Bank of Kenya, approximately US$ 100 Million is remitted every month as of May 2013 so its a massive opportunity for Equity Bank and PayPal.

Its a little disappointing that that the PayPal service in Kenya can only be used for withdrawals instead of also sending money but it is a start in the right direction. In addition, it seems that the service is being offered in conjunction with South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB) based on a prominent link on the Equity Bank web site. Another aspect about the PayPal withdrawal service from Equity Bank is that one has to open a bank account to use it which I think could be a big deterrent for many would be users. Ideally, the service could be operated by Equity Bank but available to all whether or not they have a bank account there. Indeed, a step further would be to make it bank impartial so that one could use it via PesaPoint ATMs or Safaricom’s MPESA as well – which I am willing to bet are in the pipeline.

You can find out more information on the PayPal withdrawal service via Equity Bank’s web site here.

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  1. July 9, 2013 at 8:25 am — Reply

    That good news but equity bank Nowadays has long Ques in Bank Hall and their Atms. To me i guess i will stick with my payoneer Card.

  2. […] source Moses Kemibaro & […]

  3. Stuna
    July 9, 2013 at 11:00 am — Reply

    This is indeed good. Just to point out that an mkesho account is actually a full equity bank account, so its not too difficult for one to access their money easily via mpesa. Another thing is you can also link you prepaid visa and mastercard to you paypal account, which is how we have been making payments for domain registration, elance and other online services. So paypal has pretty much covered the payments for services side but has indeed not captured money transfers.

  4. July 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm — Reply

    “Its a little disappointing that that the PayPal service in Kenya can only be used for withdrawals instead of also sending money but it is a start in the right direction.” – It’s the other way round Moses 🙂

  5. July 9, 2013 at 2:18 pm — Reply

    If they play their cards right, this could turn out to be another way to strengthen the ‘club’ effect that Equity loves to nurture. Either way its only a matter of time before PayPal decide that Kenya is ‘ready’ for direct withdrawal to bank.

  6. isaaac wanyoike
    July 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm — Reply

    This system will be very help to us to do pay and buy online. You should hurry and connect it with m-mpesa.

  7. PerryG
    July 10, 2013 at 7:06 am — Reply

    Hi Moses, thanks for the articles, indeed the partnership is a good opportunity for Kenyans.

    A point of correction however. It is also possible to send money via pay pal. Sending money was always possible even in the past, the only thing Kenyans couldn’t do was to withdrawal money from their local bank account. So the partnership between Equity Bank and Pay Pal now makes this possible.

    • PerryG
      July 10, 2013 at 7:09 am — Reply

      Therefore accessibility of money in Kenya when transacting via pay pal has been made possible by the partnership

    • July 10, 2013 at 8:11 am — Reply

      @PerryG thanks for the clarification. You are correct as I too have been making payments with PayPal for the past few years in Kenya using my credit card to do so.

  8. July 10, 2013 at 8:00 am — Reply

    This is not a solution that will last.. or that will be cost effective to
    run an online business.. for example.. if you have $100 on paypal..
    you’ll be charged 4% fee to send money to fist national bank in SA.. the
    bank will then takes it fees reducing amount further.. then the bank
    will send money to a central equity account.. then equity will disburse
    funds to respective accounts that initiated withdraw.. during this
    process equity will take fees based on interbank transfers from SA to
    Ke.. then they will mark it up with their margin.. then they will use
    their own exchange rate that you’ll have no influence to negotiate..
    this means your $100 withdraw (though the rest of the process as
    explained above is hidden to customer) you might end up with only $60 or
    $75 at its best.. the only lasting solution is parliament to enact
    legislation that allow paypal to operate freely in the country.. anyways
    “nice college try’ for equity.

    • July 10, 2013 at 8:10 am — Reply

      @mike thanks for the feedback and great to hear from you after such a long-term. I too was wondering about the FNB link and how this may affect the total payout. For sure there will be issues if what you have suggested will indeed happen. However, as far as I know, Equity Bank will only charge 1.5% commission on transactions?

  9. July 10, 2013 at 9:19 am — Reply

    Wondering between the Payoneer card and Equity which will be cheaper.. I think Payoneer is cheaper.

  10. sam
    July 17, 2013 at 12:56 pm — Reply


    there are concerns that equity does have hidden charges, and that the actual transaction takes close to 10 days.

    i have made mine, and am waiting to certify the same.

    will keep you posted, and will add screenshots as evidence

  11. October 4, 2013 at 6:27 am — Reply

    using Equity indeed does take quite some time. and as always anytime you need to use the bank and foreign currency is involved, your money will end up being chopped and chopped and you end up getting a much lower amount.

    you are better off using some of the simplified services offered by people out there, (the genuine ones) as you will get more than the bank.

  12. October 18, 2013 at 6:51 am — Reply

    In addition to Equity, there is also the Payoneer option which is cheap and some of us have been using since 2008.

    • October 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm — Reply

      @kihara thanks for the heads up – Indeed I have been hearing about Payoneer being very good. However, Equity will be a big threat to them.

  13. March 20, 2014 at 5:17 am — Reply

    Glomoney is the safest, fastest and most reliable PayPal and skrill withdrawal in Kenya. We have (https ://) and so you are sure your details and transactions are highly encrypted. We have been in operation since 2011 and so you are sure of consistency and reliability plus we have a physical location in Githurai44 (office). Currently, in addition to PayPal withdrawals, we offer loans and so our market expansion is unquestionable. When you want to withdrawal from Skrill, Paypal and just want loans, Glomoney is the place to hit. Register Free and start, it’s simple…www.glomoney.com

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