How to Accept M-Pesa Payments On Your WordPress Site In Kenya

May 26th, 2023 by Felix Cheruiyot

How to Accept M-Pesa Payments On Your WordPress Site In Kenya

If you are setting up an e-commerce store in Kenya, having M-Pesa as a payment method is crucial. Learn how to accept M-Pesa payments on your WordPress website.

According to Statistica, total e-commerce revenue in Kenya will cross US$3,238.00m in 2023, an increase of 8.4%. Growing internet connectivity and an expanding tech-savvy middle class are signs that point to faster growth going forward.

There is clearly never been a better time to take your business online, so you are here researching how to accept M-Pesa payments on your WordPress website.

Guided by that research, you have thought hard about which e-commerce platform to set up shop on and have decided, ‘WooCommerce it is’

Another important decision you must make is what payment methods you will provide for your customers. You know that has to include M-Pesa.

In this article, you will learn how to accept M-Pesa payments on your WordPress website in Kenya. You will discover the best payment gateway for WooCommerce in Kenya.

Let’s start with a definition of a payment gateway.

What is a payment gateway?

A payment gateway is a network through which a customer’s funds are transferred to you when they purchase something from your e-commerce store.

A payment gateway is the means by which a shopper’s information is collected and transferred in real-time to the bank where their funds are held so that a transaction can be processed.

Without a payment gateway, processing e-commerce payments in real-time will be hard. You, therefore, need one, whatever e-commerce platform you have built your online store on. Some platforms, like Shopify, have their own default payment gateways, but those are only supported in a few select countries.

Accepting payments on a WordPress website in Kenya also requires integrating with a third-party payment gateway. A no-brainer for an e-commerce business in Kenya, your payment gateway must include M-Pesa as a payment method.

How a payment gateway works

When a customer enters their credit card information on your checkout page, the payment gateway checks with the customer’s bank whether there are enough funds to pay for the purchase.

So while the bank is the one that processes the payment, it needs a ‘gateway’ through which to receive the payment request from your store and to relay the information that the payment has been authorized.

As an online retailer, look at a payment gateway the same way a brick-and-mortar retailer looks at their point-of-sale systems. Both are payment gateways.

When customers checkout on your online store, the payment options they are presented with constitute the front end of the payment gateway you are using.

Can you collect payments on a standard WordPress site

To add M-Pesa to a standard WordPress website, you must install a plugin to add e-commerce capabilities. That’s because WordPress is primarily a blogging platform, unlike Shopify, which was built as an e-commerce platform.

WooCommerce is one of the best and arguably the most popular WordPress ecommerce plugins. What’s great is that it is open-source software, which is free to install. It also means you can add a third-party payment gateway, which in this case is IntaSend Payments, the best payment gateway for WooCommerce stores in Kenya.

How to add IntaSend payments to your WooCommerce website

IntaSend Payments is a secure payment gateway designed to power e-commerce sites in Kenya and beyond. We have built tools to make integration easier for both businesses and developers.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to integrate payment on WooCommerce.

1. Download the IntaSend WooCommerce plugin

Here’s the download link to the latest IntaSend Payments WooCommerce plugin. Download it to your computer.

2. Upload the plugin to the WordPress site backend

Upload the plugin in the WordPress site backend

Go to Plugins and click Add New. On the screen that will appear, click Upload Plugin and attach the zip file you downloaded in the previous step. Then click Install.

3. Activate the plugin

Activate plugin in Wordpress

Click Activate Plugin to confirm the installation.

After activation, your IntaSend Payments plugin will start to show under your installed plugins. Verify that you have installed it correctly, as shown in the below.

Click Activate Plugin to confirm the installation

4. Complete the Payments setting in WooCommerce

After activation, the IntaSend Payments plugin will be added to your WooCommerce Settings tab under the Payments section.

Complete the Payments setting in WooCommerce

Go to Settings, click the Payments tab, and then enable the IntaSend Gateway.

Complete the Payments setting in WooCommerce 1

Go to the IntaSend dashboard to fetch your Publishable API key.

For testing, go to

For live (production) publishable key, go to

Complete the Payments setting in WooCommerce 3

Configure your API Key and account default.

Remember to uncheck the test mode flag in the live environment.

Complete the Payments setting in WooCommerce 4

5 . Test your integration

To test your integration, add items to your cart and proceed to checkout. You should be able to see the Pay with IntaSend widget added.

Test your integration

The IntaSend Payments checkout with all its payment methods is now visible to your customers. They can choose between Visa, Mastercard, and M-Pesa.

With that, your WooCommerce site is now set up to accept customer payments. You can now also collect M-Pesa payments on your website.

How to choose a payment gateway for your online business in Kenya

As commerce shifts online, more payments will be performed digitally using credit and debit cards. Cashless transactions demand just as much, if not more security.

And your choice of payment gateway has a big part to play in how secure customers’ funds will be when they shop on your e-commerce store.

So what should you consider when choosing a payment gateway for your WordPress (WooCommerce) store?

1. Types of cards and payments accepted

Ask yourself how the majority of shoppers that will come to your WooCommerce store prefer to pay. Do they typically pay using debit cards or their mobile wallets?

In other words, study the payment trends in your primary market. In Kenya, for example, many people find it convenient to pay through M-Pesa, the local mobile money wallet.

While the majority will pay through M-Pesa, you will also have a good number that will pay through their debit cards. You have to cater for those, too. The major banks in Kenya are on the Visa and Mastercard networks, so adding Visa and Mastercard payment options will be smart.

The growth of the gig economy and the emergence of cryptocurrency as a payment method also add Bitcoin as a viable inclusion on your payment methods.

2. Options for international customers

Are you targeting an international audience with your WooCommerce store? If you are, M-Pesa will not be an accessible payment method for many of them. So it will be necessary to add Visa and Mastercard as options.

Even for international customers, you must determine which regions of the world your international customers will likely be drawn from. This could be determined by which countries you are targeting with your marketing.

If you are targeting the Kenyan diaspora, where are they mostly found? Use that information to choose the right payment gateway for your WooCommerce web store in Kenya.

3. Security

Security is a huge concern in online payments. Were your WooCommerce to be hit by a data breach, your customers would avoid it like the plague. S the payment gate you choose must use the most modern data encryption protocols.

For example, the IntaSend payment gateway for WooCommerce has bank-level security and is PCI-DSS compliant. Together with our robust fraud detection and user authentication capabilities, these features ensure your customers’ personal information is secure when they shop on your online store.

4. Customer support

When you run into challenges with your checkout processes or can’t pull certain reports, you want to be able to contact someone who will address your issue quickly.

With a local payment gateway like IntaSend that was designed with the unique challenges of Kenyan businesses in mind, you will find it reassuring that on the other end of the support line is a local who speaks your language.

Easily and safely collect M-Pesa payments on your WooCommerce website with IntaSend.

Payment gateways do the same thing, but they aren’t created equal. Even those working in the same market don’t have the same perks or functionality.

In the IntaSend Payments WooCommerce plugin, you have a robust online payments partner tool to ensure your e-commerce stores stay open day and night.

Not only can you accept M-Pesa payments from customers, but you can also accept Visa and Mastercard. You can be assured that your customers' personal data and funds are secured as our payment gateway is fortified with industry-standard data encryption and fraud detection technology.

Every sale counts. Sign up with IntaSend and integrate our plugin with your e-commerce store and make sure every customer visit to your checkout page ends in a sale for your store.

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