Does PayPal Work with Mpesa?

PayPal, one of the largest online money transfer companies in the world, has partnered with Safaricom to enable Kenyans to send and receive money online using M-Pesa. The PayPal M-Pesa Mobile Money service enables customers to transfer funds from PayPal to Mpesa and from Mpesa to PayPal. To use this service, you will need to have an active PayPal and M-Pesa account. Also, you must link your PayPal account to your M-PESA account. The service does not allow money transfers between different people.

How to Register and Activate M-Pesa

You can register for M-Pesa at any M-Pesa agent outlet across the country. You will need to have a mobile phone with a Safaricom SIM card and an ID. A confirmation message and a 4-digit M-Pesa PIN will be sent to you by SMS after successful registration.

To activate M-Pesa, go to the Safaricom Menu and select M-Pesa. Next, select Activate or Wezesha and enter the M-Pesa PIN sent to you via SMS. Then, create your Secret PIN and confirm it. Lastly, enter your ID number and wait for a confirmation message.

How to Create and Activate your PayPal Account

You can sign up for a PayPal account (personal accounts are recommended) at the PayPal site for free by filling out your details including a valid email address and a strong password. Next, read the user agreement and click “Agree” to create your account.

The PayPal signup process also requires adding credit card details. However, you can still create the account without adding a card. Next, you will need to activate your account by going to the email inbox where you will see an activation email. Click on the “Activate” button in the PayPal email you received. This directs you to your account where you will enter your initial password and confirm it. Then, choose two security questions, write their answers, and indicate nationality to activate your PayPal account.

How to Link your PayPal Account to M-Pesa

Can PayPal be linked to Mpesa? This is a common question in Kenya. You can link PayPal to Mpesa after creating your PayPal and M-Pesa accounts. First, go to the PayPal Mobile Money portal and log in to PayPal with your login details; email and password. Then, enter the M-Pesa account phone number you would like to link to PayPal. After giving your details, you will receive a 4-digit verification code on your M-Pesa registered phone number via SMS text. Enter the code to confirm and complete the account linkage.

How to Deposit to PayPal from M-Pesa

First, go to the PayPal Mobile Money portal and log in to your PayPal account and click “Top Up to PayPal”. Then, enter the amount you would like to deposit to your PayPal account in USD and click “Calculate”. This will give you the equivalent amount that will be converted in KES (the same amount you will need to transfer from your M-Pesa account). Then, go to your M-Pesa menu and select “Lipa na M-Pesa” then pick the “Pay Bill” option. Next, enter the Business Number 800088 and enter your phone number as the Account Number. You will be prompted to enter your M-Pesa PIN then click “Send” to complete the top up process. Top ups to your PayPal account are usually processed in real time. However, they may take up to 4 hours and you receive a confirmation text from M-Pesa and an email from PayPal immediately funds are credited to your account.

How to Withdraw Money from PayPal to M-Pesa

Before you withdraw from PayPal, you will need to register for the PayPal to M-Pesa withdrawal service.

Go to the PayPal Mobile Money portal and click on the “Get Started” button. You will be redirected to your PayPal account where you will enter your PayPal login details. Then, register for the PayPal to M-Pesa withdrawal service by entering your registered M-Pesa phone number and enter the confirmation code sent and click “Confirm”.

To start withdrawing, click on “Withdraw from PayPal”. Your available balance in USD will be displayed. If your balance is in a different currency other than USD, you will need to convert it into USD in your PayPal account in the “Manage Currencies” section. Then, enter the amount you wish to withdraw from your PayPal account in USD. The system will redirect you to a page showing you the amount you will receive in your currency, the exchange rate used in currency conversion, and the estimated transaction processing time. Lastly, confirm and complete the withdrawal process. It usually takes between 2 hours to 3 days for a withdrawal request to be processed. Note that the higher the withdrawal limit, the longer the withdrawal period.

PayPal M-Pesa Tanzania. The PayPal service is available in Tanzania. However, you can only send payments but there is no way to receive payments using PayPal in Tanzania. This is because Tanzania is registered on the “send only” category of countries.

PayPal M-Pesa Charges

You will be charged for every transaction you make using this service. For withdrawals from PayPal to M-Pesa, you will be charged a 3% currency conversion fee of the withdrawn amount. For Top ups, you will pay a 4% currency conversion fee of the amount topped up. Additionally, the normal M-Pesa charges will apply for all other transactions.

PayPal M-Pesa Transaction Limits

The PayPal M-Pesa service has daily transaction limits. The current M-PESA transaction limits are KES 150, 000 per transaction and KES 300, 000 per day.

Is it Safe to Use PayPal M-Pesa?

Yes. PayPal M-Pesa is safe to use in Kenya since PayPal is fully functional and legal in Kenya. You only need to follow PayPal’s terms and conditions and keep your passwords safe. In most cases, PayPal accounts face limitation. This means that you won’t be able to access your account for 6 months. To avoid this, keep your real identity, follow PayPal’s acceptable user policy, and keep your password safe.

Kenyan Banks that you Can Link with PayPal

There are several banks in Kenya that you can link with PayPal including Co-operative bank, KCB, Equity bank, Barclays bank, among others.

Final Thoughts on PayPal M-Pesa

You can use a PayPal account to receive payments online, shop online, sell online, and receive money online. The partnership between PayPal and Safaricom has made it easier and faster to get money directly from PayPal to M-Pesa. With this partnership, you can transfer money from PayPal to Mpesa and also transfer money from Mpesa to PayPal.

Based in Mombasa, Kenya, Daisy is our African expert writer and researcher specilising in banking, cryptocurrency, and general personal finance issues in Africa. Daisy is a graduate of Chuka University in Nairobi, Kenya.