PayPal MPesa is a popular way for freelancers in Kenya to get paid. How does it work? What are the challenges? This article addresses everything you need to know and recommends the best options.
The freelance market is becoming bigger by the day, and it would be unreasonable not to acknowledge how much the industry is doing to improve the global economy by seamlessly connecting clients with freelancers. According to an article on Backlinko, employers spend an average of $2.5 billion annually on Upwork, further proving how big the freelance market is. Upwork itself generated revenue of $373.63 million in 2020.
What’s most amusing about the freelance market is how much employers spend and how much freelancers make. As a freelancer plying their trade in the freelance market, you’re open to unlimited opportunities by simply having something to offer employers when they come knocking. At the end of the day, the goal is to monetize your skills and exchange value with whoever needs your services as a freelancer.
As liberating as the freelance market is, one major issue freelancers have faced in the past few years is getting paid. Research conducted by the Freelancers Union in 2017 shows that, at the time, 70% of freelancers had issues getting paid at some point in their careers. This shows that the issue of getting paid as a freelancer dates back to when the market started to gain exposure before it finally became a mainstream success.
Most folks have heavily relied on big names like PayPal, Payoneer, and Skrill to receive their payments over the past few years. While these platforms have been particularly helpful, there’s no denying they also have not made life very easy for freelancers, especially from other parts of the world, for example, Africa. The issues of limited accounts, late arrival of payments, and several held payments, have clouded whatever success these big names might have enjoyed in the past few years.
To solve these payment problems for Kenyans, M-Pesa partnered with PayPal via Thunes (Paypal MPesa official partner) to create an easier way to help users of both payment providers transact between the two platforms. M-Pesa users can link their M-Pesa accounts to their PayPal accounts and then use the PayPal platform to transfer money to one another.
The system is quick, easy, and convenient for users. It also provides a safer way for users to transact with others since their money will be held in their PayPal accounts instead of being transferred from one bank account to another. This system has been a huge success in Kenya and is expected to succeed in other markets. However, this partnership also comes with its drawbacks.
Over the years, users of the PayPal MPesa collaboration have had to deal with many technical issues, which has led to a little mistrust in this popular partnership despite the obvious benefits. These problems include high transaction fees, inadequate support for local users, and many more. Let’s dive right into some of the challenges local users have faced using the PayPal MPesa payment option without wasting time.
On the bright side, there’s no denying how much the PayPal MPesa partnership has done for local freelancers and merchants. From needing an Equity Bank account before they could process withdrawals to having an alternative that gave total liberation and made the withdrawal of funds seamless, the partnership has done more good than harm. However, the service is not ideal for every local customer considering its many challenges. Some of these challenges include;
PayPal is never ideal for African users because it was never built in their favor. It’s an infrastructural system that mainly benefits Americans and Canadians by catering to their needs. It’s not that PayPal is inherently bad; it’s that the system was built without regard for the needs of African freelancers.
As a Kenyan PayPal user, you won't get the adequate customer support you need when you need it because there's no dedicated support team for African users. Instead, you have to navigate through support tickets and emails to get your questions answered. This is a problem when you need help the most. It's also a problem when it comes to building a brand. It's hard to build a strong connection with your users when you can't provide the best service they need the most.
You're mostly expected to jump through hoops and navigate different support channels to get the needed help. This is frustrating, inefficient, and oftentimes does not provide the quality of service you expect from a world-class company.
PayPal has a strict system that can block your account or place your payments on hold. If you have been blocked, you will not be able to make payments, receive money, or send money. This is a serious consequence and can impact your business.
Also, as a new PayPal user, there’s always a limit placed on how much you can receive on a single transaction and how much your PayPal balance can hold. This, sometimes, is not good for business owners who want to receive more than what PayPal allows them to receive at a time. Many business owners have resorted to using multiple PayPal accounts, one for receiving and one for sending, to receive and send money as much as they want. This, of course, is not an ideal situation. Using a single PayPal account to receive and send money as much as possible without worrying about the platform's limits is much better.
For PayPal business accounts, the only option available to African freelancers, the issue of held payments is very common, and it’s disheartening to see. The problem is so prevalent that many African freelancers have abandoned working with PayPal altogether. This directly impacts their income and the ability to build their credit and savings. It also hurts the entire ecosystem, as a shortage of African voices in the global economy hurts the ability of other people to be exposed to a different perspective and experience.
A freelancer won’t receive the money when a transaction is held until PayPal decides to release it. The only way to get a hold of the money is to wait for PayPal to verify the source of the money and the reason the sender sent it in the first place, which still leaves everything in PayPal's hands. This is particularly troubling for small businesses, which don’t have the time or resources to wait for days for a hold to be released before being able to continue operating.
PayPal is famous for its high transaction fees, especially for users out of the United States. The company is currently under much scrutiny for its high prices and anti-competitive practices. PayPal charges as high as 5% on some transactions, and business owners have to pay a lot more than that for services they could get for free elsewhere. Those fees make it difficult for small businesses to thrive as they're spending a huge chunk of their profits on large fees and keep them trapped in the clutches of the largest payments provider in the world.
Bonus: Read more about Paypal challenges for Africa merchants.
With the PayPal MPesa payment service creating huge divided opinions amongst Kenyan freelancers, IntaSend has emerged as one of the best and most reliable payment providers, trusted by thousands of users who enjoy several benefits on the platform. The platform has grown tremendously since its inception and is now one of the biggest and most secure platforms for freelancers in Kenya. With the primary goal of providing a user-friendly and convenient platform for users, IntaSend continues to expand, ensuring that clients receive the best service possible.
IntaSend is a digital remittance platform that allows users to send money to individuals and businesses worldwide using their mobile phones or computers. The platform allows users to receive cash in their bank accounts, wallets, and phones. This article will discuss the benefits of using IntaSend, the platform's unique features, and how to sign up for an account.
IntaSend is now regarded as the best payment provider in Kenya, thanks to the amazing features users get to enjoy. Some of these features include;
IntaSend has an invoicing system that allows you to create an invoice with the amount you expect to get paid, generate a link, and send it to your employer to get paid instantly. The system is easy to use and has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to create an invoice and collect money from customers. The system also allows you to customize your invoices and set up different billing cycles to stay organized and efficient.
The system also generates reports that show you how much you’ve invoiced, how much you have been paid, and how much is left to be paid. The system also provides you with a digital receipt that you can share with your employer to prove that you’ve been paid.
IntaSend adopts bank-level security and PCI-DSS compliance to offer its users safe and secure transactions. All IntaSend transactions are protected with bank-level security and are processed in a PCI-DSS compliant environment. This means all IntaSend users can be confident that their money is safe and secure when sending money through the platform. IntaSend's security measures and policies are regularly reviewed and audited by third-party auditors to ensure that our users have a secure transaction experience.
IntaSend uses cutting-edge encryption technologies to ensure that no third party can intercept your information. IntaSend also uses multiple fraud detection systems designed to ensure that all transactions are authentic and secure.
What’s a suitable payment provider without consistent customer support? IntaSend’s customer support team is always available to help you through any difficulties you may be facing on the platform. They’re committed to getting the best results for their customers and are very open to constructive criticism to ensure they’re providing the best services possible.
From basic troubleshooting to advanced features, they're always available to help. You can contact IntaSend's customer support in several ways, including email, live chat, and phone. You can also find answers to some of the most common questions at the help center.
IntaSend doesn’t charge a dime for maintenance, which makes it an ideal option if you want a very affordable payment provider. It offers various payment options, including traditional credit cards, ACH, Bitcoin, and M-Pesa. You can even pay a bill using IntaSend. This is a great option if you want a simple way to send and receive money without dealing with a lot of additional paperwork. IntaSend is an excellent choice for those who want to send and receive money without dealing with additional paperwork.
There's nothing as easy as receiving payments from your international clients via IntaSend. All you have to do is set up an IntaSend account, provide some simple details about your business, and we’ll take care of the rest. IntaSend will even review your invoices to ensure everything is accurate and up to date before processing your payments. You can also get paid faster with IntaSend, as we process your payments before your other providers. This means you get your money faster, so you can spend it on your business rather than keeping it in your account.
What are the several ways to receive payments from your international clients directly into your IntaSend wallet?
You can send an invoice to your client directly from your IntaSend dashboard, after which a payment request will be sent to them to pay the invoice on a unique checkout page.
Another way to get paid easily from outside the country is to generate payment links and send them to your clients via email, WhatsApp, and any other messaging app you can think of. This is one of the easiest ways to get your payments as soon as possible.
Getting started on IntaSend is one of the easiest sign-up processes you’ll ever see. You have to visit IntaSend signup to get started. Once you’re on the page, you’ll be required to provide information like the account type you wish to open (Individual/Partnership/Limited Company/Sole Proprietor/NGO). You’ll then be asked to fill in other details like your phone number, email, and preferred password.
As soon as you sign up, you must verify your email address and phone number. You can start using your IntaSend account to send and receive money.
One of the best things about IntaSend is how you can process a withdrawal from your IntaSend dashboard to your M-Pesa account with instant reflection. This means you can see your withdrawal reflected in your M-Pesa balance in real-time, and it doesn't take long to have the money in your account. It's also a great way to manage your money when you don't have access to your bank or have a hard time getting to the bank. Seeing your money in motion is a great way to stay on top of your finances.
Another way to withdraw your money from your IntaSend wallet is to send it directly to your bank account. This only requires you to log into your wallet and click the “withdraw” button on the menu. You’ll then be prompted to provide your bank account information. The money will be deposited into your bank account within minutes; although it may take longer, depending on the bank you're using to receive the money. Generally, the process is as quick as receiving the money on your M-Pesa wallet.
For every withdrawal and deposit you make on your IntaSend account, you will be notified immediately via email or SMS. This will help you keep track of your money and make sure that you never miss a transfer. You can also view all of your transactions in easy-to-read statements. This will help you keep tabs on your account and ensure you never miss a payment.
From your IntaSend dashboard, you can do many things, including tracking your transactions, so you are right on top of your finances. One of the best things about IntaSend is that it gives you a personalized experience, so you don’t have to worry about the same old thing. You can also find information about your IntaSend transactions, including invoices, payments, and many more. You can even view your transaction history for a certain period. On the left side of the screen, you can also see the status of your transactions: successful or pending.
As the freelance market in Africa continues to grow, the payment issue has also grown in importance. The PayPal M-Pesa partnership has undoubtedly solved this problem to a point. However, it comes with its drawbacks, which a payment provider like IntaSend has been able to solve. IntaSend is an online payment platform that aims to offer consumers in emerging markets a way to transact without needing a bank account. The platform facilitates peer-to-peer payments, enabling users to send money to each other in minutes. This comes at a time when mobile money is becoming more and more commonplace in Africa.