As good as PayPal is, depending on which part of the world you are in, PayPal isn’t the most accessible payment system. In many developing countries, the digital wallet limits the features users can enjoy, with many unable to receive funds into their PayPal accounts.
In Kenya and much of Africa, PayPal isn’t widely accepted as a payment method on e-commerce websites and online stores. You can usually only use your PayPal digital wallet when making online payments on global websites.
So it’s natural that many people in Kenya would prefer local alternatives to PayPal. If that’s you, this article is for you. After reading, you will know the 5 best PayPal alternatives in Kenya.
Let’s get straight to it with a primer on what PayPal is.
PayPal is an online payment platform that allows you to send and receive money and make and accept payments online. It is an all-in-one digital payment solution for both businesses and individuals.
Individuals use PayPal as a money transfer service and a payment method. It is one of the world's most popular online payment methods, accepted by millions of businesses.
For businesses, PayPal is an online payment system that serves as a payment gateway and a payment processor. It allows businesses to accept the PayPal digital wallet as a payment method on their websites and apps.
To use PayPal, you must create an account and link it to your bank or credit card. Once you have done that, you can use PayPal to make payments and transfer funds online. When you pay with PayPal, the money is transferred from your account to the recipient's account.
Businesses that want to accept PayPal as a payment method on their websites must register as a merchant, which lets them use the PayPal Payflow payment gateway. However, PayPal Payflow is not available in Kenya.
PayPal is a convenient and secure way to send money and make payments online. Because it does not share your credit card information with the merchant, using PayPal also helps to keep your financial information confidential. Yet, many local merchants do not accept PayPal as a payment method, which means you have to find a local alternative:
PayPal is different things to different people. What comes to mind when you think of it or specifically what you want to use it for determines what would be its best alternative for you.
Online shoppers in Kenya may think of PayPal as a mobile wallet that lets them easily pay for goods and services online. They would be looking for a similar solution they can easily access in Kenya.
A Kenyan working abroad may be searching for a convenient way to send money to a loved one back home and prefer a money transfer service that allows remittances directly into the recipient’s M-Pesa mobile money wallet.
On the other hand, businesses may be researching payment methods that work, as well as PayPal, that are accessible to most online shoppers in Kenya. Instead of a digital wallet, they could be looking for a local payment gateway that allows them to embed M-Pesa, for example, as a payment method on their checkout pages.
Therefore, our picks for the best PayPal alternatives consider the different PayPal use cases we have discussed above.
With that said, here are our 5 PayPal alternatives in Kenya:
M-Pesa is a mobile money transfer service available in Kenya, controlling over 90% of the market. Like PayPal, M-Pesa is more than a way to send money to friends and family. It is a mobile money wallet and payment method.
Accepted by virtually all merchants and utilities, M-Pesa is now Kenya's most popular payment method. To use M-Pesa, you must have a registered M-Pesa account. You can then use the mobile wallet to send and receive money, pay bills, and make purchases online.
M-Pesa Global, on the other hand, is the M-Pesa service that allows wallet owners to send and receive money to and from people outside Kenya. Through M-Pesa Global, Safaricom (the M-Pesa mobile money service operator) has partnered with global platforms to allow Kenyans to receive money and get paid directly into their M-Pesa wallets.
Some global platforms M-Pesa integrates with are Upwork, PayPal itself, and remittance providers like WorldRemit, Western Union, Remitly, and MoneyGram.
If you are a merchant, M-Pesa will be a better payment method to accept on your online store than PayPal if your customer base is predominantly local. You can easily accept M-Pesa payments online by integrating the IntaSend payment gateway.
Besides M-Pesa, the IntaSend payment gateway adds Visa, Mastercard, and Bitcoin as payment methods so your international customers can use a familiar payment method.
Payoneer is an online payment platform that was designed as an alternative in markets Paypal does not fully support. PayPal notoriously restricts its services in developing countries.
For example, users in many developing countries cannot get paid through their PayPal accounts. This removes it as a viable option for freelancers and small businesses looking for a way to receive payments from foreign clients.
Payoneer is the most like-for-like alternative to PayPal. It gives account holders a digital wallet they can use to store their funds and pay suppliers, with ver little if any geographical restrictions.
Payoneer users can also order a physical Visa or Mastercard debit card to use for their online payments. If you need to make an urgent online payment and have a balance in your Payoneer digital wallet, the platform allows you to request a virtual Mastercard debit card that you can use within minutes of requesting.
Now Payoneer account holders can also send and receive money to and from other Payoneer users. So like PayPal, but with fewer users, Payoneer is now a bonafide money transfer service.
Recently Payoneer has also launched a payment gateway, which, however, is only available in a few markets. It is not available in Kenya.
Skrill is another online payment platform like Payoneer with many users in Kenya and could be a viable PayPal alternative.
Your Skrill account acts as a digital wallet that you can use to:
Recently, Skrill has made a shift towards the gaming and betting niches. It’s made it possible for punters to place bets on betting websites using their Skrill digital wallets.
PesaPal is an online payment gateway available in Kenya. It allows businesses to accept payments from customers online and offline. To use PesaPal, businesses must sign up for an account and integrate it with their website. Customers can then use PesaPal to make payments on the business's website.
While the PesaPal physical and digital payments infrastructure provides businesses with the tools they need to accept customer payments online and in person, PesaPal Mobile helps consumers pay on the go.
The PesaPal mobile app helps consumers conveniently pay for different everyday purchases using just their mobile phone. By connecting the Visa, Mastercard debit, credit, or pre-paid cards to the PesaPal app, users:
All the above transactions do not attract any fees. They are also highly secure, thanks to bank-level security features the mobile app employs. All these features make PesaPal Mobile one of the best PayPal alternatives in Kenya.
IntaSend is a digital payments solution that allows businesses to request and accept customer payments online and make bulk and scheduled accounts.
By integrating the IntaSend payment gateway with their online store or app, businesses can add Visa, Mastercard, M-Pesa, and Bitcoin as methods customers can use to pay for their purchases and subscriptions online.
Your IntaSend account serves as a digital wallet that you can use to receive payments and store your savings. As a business, you can use the funds in your digital wallet to pay suppliers, vendors, and workers. You can make once-off, bulk, and scheduled payments right from your digital wallet, which serves as your merchant account.
Individuals can use their IntaSend account to raise invoices and generate easily shareable no-code payment links that make it easy for clients to pay. Like Payoneer, IntaSend allows wallet owners to request a virtual Mastercard or Visa card in minutes. You can use this virtual card to pay for goods and services on global websites like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook.
These are just a few of the many PayPal alternatives that are available in Kenya. When choosing a PayPal alternative, also consider the fees, the features, and the security of the service.
Every business and individual that earns a living, receive money, and makes payments online needs a PayPal-like digital wallet. PayPal itself is not always accessible outside its main markets of the USA and Europe.
PayPal, Pesapal, and IntaSend are your best local PayPal alternatives. However, your choice will ultimately depend on your individual needs. Are you looking for a mobile wallet that is widely accepted as a payment method? If so, M-Pesa is a great alternative to PayPal.
If you are, however, looking for a business-focused digital payments platform that makes it easy to pay suppliers and get paid by clients within and outside Kenya, IntaSend is a better PayPal alternative in Kenya.
Sign up for an IntaSend account and enjoy a more convenient way to pay, get paid from anywhere, and securely send money everywhere.