Find out the Cheapest Way of Sending Money to Kenya

Are you thinking of the cheapest way to send money to Kenya? You could be a friend of a person in Kenya or a family member. You could also be a business person who need to send money to Kenya to fund your company or a donor sending money to a Kenyan organization you support. Ideally, you want to send money to Kenya, using an option that is fast, cheap, and efficient. This article will show you some of the cheapest ways to send money to Kenya and how to send money to Kenya through Mpesa.

Fastest and cheapest options to send money to Kenya

  • There are many options available to transfer money to Kenya. Choose a method that is cheaper to you and the recipient, one that is faster, and one that is efficient.
  • Of all the methods, we recommend using Remitly, Transferwise, rebranded to Wise, WorldRemit, or Skrill. However, you should also ask the Kenyan recipient on the method they mostly prefer because maybe they would prefer even Bitcoin.
  • Sending money to Mpesa is the fastest way to send money to Kenya as the money reflects in the recipient’s mobile money account instantly. Services supporting money transfer to Mpesa include Remitly and WorldRemit.

Transferwise to Kenya / Wise Money Transfer Kenya

Transferwise to mpesa
You can send money from Transferwise to MPesa.

Does Transferwise work in Kenya? Yes. Wise, formerly Transferwise, is a relatively new international transfer method that facilitates money transfer to Kenya. The company was founded in London and is currently valued at $3.5 billion. The company’s goal is to disrupt the funds transfer industry by making the whole process cheaper, faster, and efficient. To solve this problem, the company opened hundreds of bank accounts around the world. Therefore, if you send money to Transferwise in Kenya, the company will complete the transaction using its Kenyan account. As such, the recipient is able to receive money within the shortest time possible and at the best exchange rate.

Transferwise allows people to send money to Kenya as individuals or businesses. For business accounts, your business needs to be verified and the money must come from your business bank account.

Transferwise Payment Methods / Transferwise Receiving Methods

TransferWise supports a number of payment methods for your money transfers to Kenya. You can fund your transfers with a debit or credit card, bank transfer, iDEAL, POLi, SOFORT, ACH payment (US), Apple Pay, Android Pay, Payment Initiation Service Provider (PSIP), SWIFT, Trustly, and SEPA. You can only send money to a local bank account or mobile money wallet.

How to Send Money From Transferwise to Mpesa

With the growing adoption of mobile money in Kenya, you can send money from Transferwise to Mpesa. Transferwise Mpesa process is very simple: you will need M-Pesa mobile number in the name of the receiver. Kenyan mobile numbers starts with 254. The money should arrive the same business day that it is sent out.

Go to Wise.com

How to Use Transferwise Kenya

  • Check the exchange rate. You could use Google to check the current exchange rate. Unlike other companies that mark-up the exchange rate, Transferwise usually uses the same rate as displayed on Google.
  • Create a free Transferwise account and tell the company where you are sending money to, Kenya in this situation.
  • Enter the recipient’s bank account in Kenya and the company will complete the transaction within an average of one hour. You can also send the money from Transferwise to M-Pesa.

WorldRemit Kenya

transferwise kenya mpesa

WorldRemit is an international money transfer platform with more than 4 million users from around the world. The company’s platform works in a similar way to Transferwise, with the only difference being that you can send cash to Kenya to a local agent for a cash pickup. It is one of the best ways to send money to Kenya. To send money to Kenya using World Remit, you should follow the following steps.

  • Go to WorldRemit website and download their mobile application or use their website.
  • Enter the amount and the country you want to send money to. You will see the amount of money the recipient will see right away.
  • Add the details of the person you want to send the money to. The funds will arrive to the customer within less than an hour. You can also track the payments using their website.

Get 3 Free Transfers with WorldRemit

Special offer: Send money with WorldRemit using the code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first three money transfers. Coupon code WorldRemit for free transfers.

WorldRemit Payment Methods / WordlRemit Receiving Methods

You can fund your WorldRemit transfers to Kenya using bank transfers, debit, credit and prepaid card (Visa, Mastercard or Maestro), Poli, Interac, iDEAL, Klarna, Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Trustly.

WorldRemit allows your recipient in Kenya to receive the money using a bank account, cash pickup, or mobile money (M-Pesa and Equitel). You are also able to send talktime to your beneficiary. If your recipient has downloaded the WorldRemit app, they can also receive the money in the WorldRemit wallet, which is part of the app.

WorldRemit to Mpesa

Mpesa WorldRemit collaboration allows people to send a money to M-Pesa instantly. This is how to send money via World Remit to Mpesa. To send money using WorldRemit to Mpesa, go to WorldRemit website or app, choose Kenya as a country to send to on dropdown list, slect “mobile money” as receiving method and then select Mpesa. There’s a maximum limit of USD 5,000 (per transfer) or the Kenyan Shilling equivalent.

Benefits for Using WorldRemit

  • The recipient does not need to have a bank account. You can send them a cash pickup or use World Remit Mpesa transfer.
  • The first transaction you do with WorldRemit is 100% free. And if using the code 3FREE you pay no fees on your first three money transfers.
  • You can easily track the payments using the app.
  • Transparent exchange rate.
  • The process is faster.

Go to WorldRemit.com

Remitly Money Transfer to Kenya

Zero fees. All transfers are fee-free, whenever you send.

Remitly is one of cheapest ways to send money to Kenya. At the moment, it is free to send money to Kenya using Remitly. You can send money to Kenya with Remitly from a number of countries including Australia Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, UK, US, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

After opening your Remitly account, your transfer limits will be $2,999 in 24 hours, $10,000 in 30 days and $18,000 in 180 days. If you want to send more than the starting limits, you need to submit extra paperwork for Remitly to verify your transfer. You can fund your money transfer to Kenya with a bank transfer or debit/credit card. Banks that you can send money to in Kenya include Equity bank, KCB, Ecobank, CBA, Diamond Trust Bank, Postbank, etc.

How to Receive Money from Remitly in Kenya

Remitly Kenya works with major banks in Kenya, so you can easily send money to a Kenyan bank account. You can also send money to Mpesa, Airtel Money or cash pick-up.

Remitly to Mpesa

MPesa is a virtual wallet service that can be used to deliver a Remitly transfer to a mobile wallet in Kenya for free. To send a transfer from Remitly to MPesa in Kenya, you need your recipient’s full name and phone number. Your recipient will need to be a Safaricom customer, and activated M-Pesa on their Safaricom account.

Go to Remitly website

TransferGo

TransferGo is a British money transfer company. The company offers the service to individuals as well as businesses and sole traders. This means, businesses can make batch payments, paying up to 50 suppliers or salaries in Kenya in one go.

TransferGo charges a fixed fee depending on which country you are sending money from. For commission on foreign exchange, you need to add between 0.00% and 3.3%. For instance, if you send 1000 GBP to Kenya, you will pay £0.99 in fees and your recipient will receive 138,445.03 KES. Your bank may apply additional fees for the transactions.

Sending money to Kenya with TransferGo, all you need is their debit card/credit card or bank details. You can pay for your TransferGo transfers to Kenya by bank transfer, credit card, debit card, Google Pay or Apple Pay.

Go to TransferGo website

Skrill Money Transfer to Kenya

Skrill is a virtual wallet for money transfer and online payment that you can use to send money, receive money, and make payments in Kenya. Many Kenyan online freelancers use Skrill and other payment platforms for freelancers in Africa for receiving payments.

How to Fund Skrill Wallet / How to Receive Money from Skrill

In order to send money to Kenya using Skrill, you need to have money in your Skrill wallet. You can fund Skrill wallet using a bank transfer, debit and credit card, and Paysafecard.

When using Skrill to send money to Kenya, your beneficiary can receive the money in a bank account, mobile wallet or Skrill wallet. Safaricom partnership with Skrill allow M-Pesa users to receive money via Skrill.

Go to Skrill website

Bank Transfers to Kenya

 transfer money to kenya bank account

Wire transfer to Kenya by your bank account also can be a simple process, but it generally will cost more. In this process you have to instruct your bank to send money to Kenya bank account belonging to your recipient. To do this, all you need to do is to visit your local branch or use the digital banking platform to transfer money to Kenya bank account. To send money to Kenya using a wire transfer, you will need the following.

  • The recipient bank account number.
  • The recipient’s bank name and address.
  • The recipient’s bank’s Swift number.

The entire process will take a few minutes and the recipient will receive the funds within seven days. On average, it takes less than two days for the transfer to complete.

See also the information on how to open a bank account in Kenya or a Diaspora bank account in Kenya.

PayPal to Kenya

Paypal

PayPal is one of the biggest fintech company in the world with a valuation of more than $140 billion. With the company, you can send money to a Kenyan recipient within a few seconds. To do this, you need to ensure that the recipient has a PayPal address. After this, all you have to do is to enter their email address and the amount you are sending and they will receive the funds immediately. The recipient has two options of withdrawing the funds. First, they can withdraw to their M-pesa account. Depending on the amount, this process takes less than 5 hours. Second, they can withdraw the funds to their bank account. In Kenya, this can be done using just Equity Bank, which is the largest bank in Kenya.

Unless the recipient insists, using PayPal should be one of the last options for three reasons. First, it takes three days for the recipient to have money in their bank if they opt to withdraw to their banks. Second, there are so many charges when you use PayPal. On average, when you send $300 to a recipient, they will receive $288. They will then be charged by the bank to withdraw. Finally, the foreign exchange process is not transparent.

Western Union Kenya

sending money to kenya via western union

Western Union is one of the oldest ways of sending money to Kenya. The company is now worth more than $8 billion and is available in most countries around the world. The process of sending money to Kenya using Western Union is relatively simple and can be done in two ways. You can use the company’s online platform to send the money or you can do the transaction at a local store. When paying online, you can use your credit or debit card to send the money. Then, you should enter the recipient’s details.

How does Western Union Work in Kenya?

There are several options for receiving money via Western Union in Kenya. You can send directly to a bank account or a local agent to be picked up in cash. You can also send money to Kenya via Mpesa with Western Union. For cash pickup, you should share with your recipient the MTCN number, which the agent will use to give them the funds.

There are a number of benefits of using Western Union to send money to Kenya. These are:

  • It is a fast method of sending money.
  • There are hundreds of locations the recipient can receive the funds in.
  • The recipient does not need to have a bank account.

An alternative to Western Union is MoneyGram, which uses the same process.

Bitcoin to Kenya

Bitcoin

Another alternative you can use to send money to Kenya is Bitcoin based remittances. As you know, Bitcoin is a digital currency that is available in all parts of the country. To do this, you need to have Bitcoins on your cryptocurrency wallet. Your recipient also needs to have a Bitcoin address. To do the transaction, all you need to do is to go to your Bitcoin wallet and select the option to send the Bitcoin. You should then put the address of the recipient and the amount of Bitcoin you want to send.

Final Thoughts on How to Transfer Money to Kenya

There are so many options available to you when you want to send money to Kenya. As you make the decision, you should consider a method that is cheaper to you and the recipient, one that is faster, and one that is efficient. Of all the methods described here, we recommend using Wise,formerly Transferwise, WorldRemit, Remitly, or Skrill. However, you should also ask the Kenyan recipient on the method they mostly prefer because maybe they would prefer even Bitcoin.

Kasper is our expert for saving, investing and bank accounts. Kasper holds an MSc in Mathematics and worked with Mercedes-Benz and the Dutch tax authorities. Read more about Kasper and the whole editorial team at FiFi and our editorial guidelines.