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Best Ways To Send Money From the USA to Kenya via M-Pesa

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com
Dec 8, 2022
Affiliate disclosure

Most Kenyans will probably agree that M-Pesa is the best way to send and receive money, pay for goods and services, and even access loans. And given that everything happens directly on your cellphone, it's probably the most convenient way too!

However, converting from dollars to shillings is difficult for people living abroad who want to send money from the USA to Kenya via M-Pesa. Fortunately, services like Remitly, WorldRemit, and Western Union let you send money from the USA to Kenya via M-Pesa quickly, cheaply, and hassle-free. Find the cheapest and fastest service using Monito's live comparison tool below 👇

Find the best way to send money from the US to M-Pesa:

Key Facts About M-Pesa

🌏 Providers sending to M-Pesa

Remitly, WorldRemit & 5 Others

⚡️ Transfer speed

In minutes

💰 Cheapest total fees

FREE

💰 Most expensive total fees

2.15%

Option 1: Digital Platforms

The best way to send money from the USA to Kenya via M-Pesa is to choose a digital money transfer platform. There are two excellent options (Remitly and WorldRemit) and one good option (XE Money Transfer) to compare here. Each offers M-Pesa payouts in Kenya and supports transfers from dozens of countries around the globe, including from the USA.

To get started, you must sign up on one of these platforms (the process usually is quick, easy, and free) and choose M-Pesa as your delivery method. You'll then be able to enter your recipient's mobile number and name and then make a bank or card transfer from your local currency to their M-Pesa account in Kenyan shillings at excellent exchange rates. (What's more, the money normally arrives in Kenya in only a few minutes!)

We go through each option in more detail below:

Remitly

Remitly is a US-based remittance platform that's usually the fastest and cheapest way to send money to Kenya. It supports transfers from the USA to Kenya from many countries worldwide, including the US, UK, EU, and Australia.

Average cost from the US to Kenya:

-1.3%
Includes a promotional exchange rate for first-time users

M-Pesa limits: USD 2,999 within 24 hours, USD 10,000 within 30 days, and USD 18,000 within 180 days

More info: See our full Remitly review or visit their website.

WorldRemit

WorldRemit is a UK-based online remittance provider that offers another excellent way to send money from the USA to someone's M-Pesa account in Kenya.

Average cost from the US to Kenya: 3.2%

M-Pesa limits: KES 150,000 (approx. USD 1,250)

More info: See our full WorldRemit review or visit their website.

XE Money Transfer

The world's oldest online money transfer company, XE Money Transfer is widely-known in the world of currency exchange. It often offers the best way to transfer money internationally regarding the number of foreign currencies and countries it covers.

Average cost from the US to Kenya: 1.7%

M-Pesa limits: None

More info: See our full XE review or visit their website.

Option 2: Legacy Platforms

In addition to the savvy online options we discussed above, using a traditional player like Western Union or MoneyGram is another good alternative to sending money from the USA to Kenya with M-Pesa.

Although legacy platforms are usually more expensive than online platforms, they usually still offer decent exchange rates, and the cheaper option will depend on how much you're sending and the country you're sending to Kenya from. That's why we recommend you compare money transfer providers before every new transfer to Kenya.

Let's go over the leading platforms in this category:

Western Union

Western Union is the largest and oldest money transfer operator on the globe, offering money transfers from the USA to Kenya via M-Pesa from dozens of countries across the globe.

Average cost from the US to Kenya: Approx. 3.8%

M-Pesa limits: Approx. USD 2,000

More info: See our full Western Union review or visit their website.

MoneyGram

After Western Union, MoneyGram is the second-largest money transfer operator in the world and also offers money transfers from the USA to Kenya via M-Pesa from many countries worldwide.

Average cost from the US to Kenya: 2.1%

M-Pesa limits: None

More info: See our full MoneyGram review or visit their website.

Small World

Often the cheapest of the legacy operators for transfers to Kenya, Small World is another well-known alternative for sending money, and it supports transfers from the USA to M-Pesa as well as other mobile wallets.

Average cost from the US to Kenya: 1.8%

M-Pesa limits: None

More info: See our full Small World review or visit their website.

Option 3: Banks

If you live in the USA but keep a bank account in Kenya, it's sometimes possible to convert foreign currency to shillings and deposit it into somebody's M-Pesa account. For example, Equity Bank offers this service to residents in some countries abroad, including in America.

While it can make sense if you frequently receive money into your Kenyan bank account and don't mind paying slightly higher fees, it's not a good option if you want to save money, as costs can quickly amount to more than 5% of the total transaction amount. You can learn more about the high costs of using your bank to send money abroad in our dedicated explainer.

Instead, we recommend choosing a provider on this list like Remitly or comparing money transfer providers in real-time below to find the best deal for your specific transfer:

Transfer cheaply to M-Pesa in Kenya:

FAQ About M-Pesa in Kenya

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