If you use PayPal to receive payments in Kenya then this is the best news for you today. Safaricom has announced a new partnership with the online payment service and TransferTo that will allow M-Pesa customers to send money or make purchases online via PayPal.
Previously, the withdrawals could only be made via Equity Bank which acted as PayPal’s local merchant. This only meant you needed an Equity bank account. There were also a number of middlemen who could help you withdraw the cash instantly but at a fee.
According to its 2017 end of year Financial Results, Equity Bank says it recorded a 132 percent increase in the volume of transactions across its international money transfer platforms. 70 percent of income generated from online transactions from the diaspora came from PayPal. A few days ago, the bank also announced that it had reduced charges for large withdrawals of its Equity PayPal withdrawals between 1% and 1.5%.
This new partnership between PayPal and Safaricom is expected to link Kenyan businesses and shoppers to more than 18 million customers around the world through PayPal. It will also allow Kenyan businesses to sell their goods and services to the more than 210 million active PayPal users across the globe in up to 25 international currencies.
In addition, M-PESA customers can still receive and withdraw money from more than 140,000 agents across the country.
‘’M-PESA’s collaboration with PayPal will open up global marketplaces and the global economy to millions of Kenyans and Kenyan-based businesses. Beyond money transfers, this development ushers in a new era of speed and convenience beyond borders, as we work towards innovating robust platforms through which more entrepreneurs and consumers can benefit from the growing e-commerce industry”, Joseph Ogutu. Director of Strategy at Safaricom said.
To make online purchases, customers will be required to set up PayPal accounts, which they can top up in real-time using their M-PESA balances. Customers can then withdraw funds within a timespan of few hours to three days, depending on the transaction amount.
“PayPal’s collaboration with M-PESA is part of the company’s long-term strategy to enable e-commerce and democratise financial services on the African continent,” says Efi Dahan, PayPal General Manager for the Middle East, Africa, and Russia.
“We are excıted to brıng the M-PESA mobile wallet and PayPal joint services to the Kenyan market, which makes it more convenient and secure to withdraw and add money to their accounts while participating in the global digital economy,” Dahan added.
Again, this will make it easier for Kenyans living in the diaspora to send money to their relatives back at home. According to statics from the Central Bank, Kenyans in diaspora remitted to the country 1.9 billion in the year 2017.