How To Use PayPal in Kenya

Aug 18, 2023
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Thanks to digital financial services like PayPal, sending and receiving money online has never been easier. If you handle a lot of international transactions, then you’re familiar with PayPal and how it works.

If you’re new to the platform, you may still be discovering the different ways you can use PayPal. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using PayPal in Kenya.

Keep in mind that PayPal is expensive, so compare cheaper alternatives using Monito's real-time comparison engine.

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How Does PayPal Work in Kenya?

To use PayPal in Kenya, you need to link your bank account or credit or debit card first. This way, you can authorize the company to send or receive payments by accessing the funds in your account. It’s a convenient way to make or receive payments from international accounts.

Alternatively, you can use PayPal by transferring money into your account from your M-Pesa or online banking account. If you have a balance from depositing funds directly or from previous transactions, you can use the cash to make payments to merchants. In this case, PayPal cannot access any of your external accounts.

You can create a PayPal account by following these simple steps:

1. Create an Account

Visit the official PayPal website and sign up for a personal or business account, depending on your needs. You’ll be required to provide details like your name and email address. 

You’ll also create a password to protect your account. Ensure you use a strong password to prevent unauthorized access.

2. Link the PayPal Account

You can link your PayPal account to your bank account, credit, or debit card that you’ll use for transactions. Alternatively, you can give your phone number for mobile wallet transactions.

3. Verify Your Account

Before you can start transacting with PayPal, you must verify your account. PayPal sends a verification code through your linked phone number, credit card, or bank account statement. You must first enter the code on the website to verify your account.

4. Fund Your PayPal Account

You can fund your PayPal by transferring money from your M-Pesa wallet, credit card, or linked bank account. Once you have a balance in your account, you can start making purchases or transfer money.

Different Ways to Use PayPal in Kenya

One of the main reasons PayPal is so popular is the convenience of making online transactions from the comfort of your phone. Here are some of the top ways of using PayPal services in Kenya.

Receiving Payment

PayPal is one of the most popular ways to receive payment, especially for freelancers. Freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr support PayPal, so Kenyan freelancers can receive payments from their clients across the globe.

Online Shopping

Local and international merchants support PayPal payments, so Kenyan users can use their accounts to pay for items when shopping online. PayPal is one of the top payment platforms supported by e-commerce websites.

Kenyan businesses can also use PayPal for cross-border transactions, purchasing international goods or services.

Online Payments

You can also use PayPal for online payments such as subscriptions, paying bills, and booking plane tickets.

Holding Funds in USD

PayPal is also an ideal choice for temporarily holding money in US dollars if the current exchange rate is unfavorable. PayPal doesn’t charge users for holding a balance in their account.


Kenyans can also use PayPal to raise funds for a specific cause or donate to a charity.

How to Link PayPal to M-Pesa

Safaricom and PayPal partnered and introduced a simple way to transfer money from PayPal to M-Pesa. You can now withdraw money from PayPal directly to your M-Pesa wallet and even deposit money into your PayPal account from M-Pesa.

Here are the steps for linking your PayPal and M-Pesa accounts:

  • Visit the official PayPal to M-Pesa site
  • Log into your PayPal account
  • Agree to the terms and conditions of using the service
  • Enter the M-Pesa number you want to link to your PayPal account
  • You’ll receive a verification code via SMS to complete the process

Note that the name reflected on your M-Pesa wallet must be the same as the name you use for your PayPal account for the linking process to be successful.

How to Open a PayPal Business Account

You may also be interested in opening a PayPal business account. With the account, your business can process bank transfers and card payments for more than 200 countries.

The account also enables you to accept payments on your website directly. PayPal handles payment processing so you can focus on providing your goods or services.

With a PayPal business account, you can also create invoices and send them to clients to request payment, and they can complete the payment directly from the invoices using the links provided.

Here are the steps for opening a PayPal business account:

  • Visit the official PayPal website to sign up
  • Select Business Account instead of Personal Account
  • Enter your email address
  • Create a strong password that includes upper and lower case letters, symbols, and at least one number.
  • Provide your business details and select your primary currency
  • Read and agree to the User Agreement
  • Choose your business type and select the options that suit your business
  • On the last page, provide your personal information and “Submit.”
  • PayPal will send you the confirmation via the email address you signed up with

While PayPal is a useful app, it’s expensive for currency exchange. If you need foreign exchange services, there are better alternatives to use. You can compare alternative providers on Monito to find more affordable options.

Find Cheaper PayPal Alternatives

FAQs About Using PayPal in Kenya

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