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Paypal to Mpesa: How to Use Paypal in Kenya in 2020

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Denzil Otieno

Today I’m going to talk about PayPal to Mpesa transactions and vice versa. So if you are looking forward to transacting more online, this post is for you. 

In fact, the recent update by PayPal will now enable Kenyan freelancers to withdraw from PayPal to Mpesa in just minutes – no more waiting for 2 hours! 

Just briefly, this post will cover the following subsections: 

  1. PayPal to Mpesa FAQs
  2. PayPal Kenya sign up
  3. Link Mpesa to PayPal
  4. How to transfer money from Mpesa to PayPal
  5. Withdraw money from PayPal to Mpesa

Let’s get started. 


PayPal to Mpesa FAQs

1. Can I transfer money from PayPal to M-Pesa?

Sure, you can withdraw your funds from PayPal to Mpesa. However, you need to link your Mpesa phone number with PayPal before you can withdraw money from PayPal to Mpesa. PayPal allows users to withdraw up to 70,000 shillings from PayPal to Mpesa with a daily limit of up to 140, 000 shillings. 

2. How long does it take to withdraw from PayPal to M-Pesa?

Initially, PayPal to Mpesa transactions were processed in 2 hours for low or medium transactions and up to an average of three days for more significant sums. As of 2020, PayPal to Mpesa transactions takes just minutes. That means that freelancers can now withdraw up to 79,000 shillings from PayPal to Mpesa in just minutes.

3. What is the minimum you can withdraw from PayPal?

The short answer is that the minimum amount you can withdraw from PayPal is $1.00. However, you must make sure that your PayPal and Mpesa details match. If they don’t, PayPal will not allow you to link your Mpesa phone number with PayPal, thus no transactions. 

4. Is PayPal safe?

PayPal is safe at all times. And because it’s a renowned company, rest assured of top-notch protection and security when doing transactions. Also, your credentials are put in place, so you stay safe online. 

5. Why can’t my Mpesa phone number link to PayPal? 

If you had problems linking your Mpesa phone number with PayPal, the chances are that your Mpesa phone number is not registered using your National Identity Card details. Or you already link the same Mpesa phone number with another PayPal account. The quick and easy fix to this error is to get a new Mpesa registered phone number with your name and link it to your PayPal account. 

6. Which banks support PayPal in Kenya?

While there are a couple of local banks in Kenya, Equity and Cooperative Bank are the only banks that are compatible with PayPal. If you open accounts with any of these two then transacting from PayPal is a no brainer. In fact, Equity’s credit cards come already enabled for online transactions, making it even more straightforward to access loans as a freelancer. 

7. Is there a monthly fee to use PayPal?

There are no charges to use Paypal nor do any charges apply to card limitation or inactivity. Even so, PayPal will deduct a fee of $3.95 from your balance account upon depositing money into your Paypal. 

8. What are the disadvantages of using PayPal?

The only downside of PayPal is the fee charged for non-PayPal payments. Sadly, this fee doesn’t seem to help its users even though they claim to. The prices range between 1.9 to 2.9 percent, plus a transaction fee of up to $0.30, which is a bit expensive. 

9. Who pays the fee on PayPal?

Usually, the seller pays the PayPal fee upon the completion of a transaction. The buyer, on the other hand, pays no fee for purchases made as it’s included in the seller’s expense. Meanwhile, the seller’s fee is represented as a percentage of the total transaction. 

10. Do I need a bank account for PayPal?

For a successful PayPal transaction, a credit card or certified bank account is a must-have. PayPal works like a bank, which is why you should opt for a credit card or even still, sign up for a bank account. 

Paypal Kenya Sign Up: How to Open a Paypal Account in Kenya

Step 1: Sign up for PayPal 

The first step is to head over to Once you are on PayPal’s home page, you need to go to the top right corner and click “sign up.” 

paypal to mpesa

You should be taken to a page where you will have to choose between a personal Kenyan PayPal account and Kenyan business PayPal account. Choose whatever pleases you for now. 

Next, you will need to enter your details – email address, your Mpesa phone number, first name, last name, create and then confirm your password. 

paypal to mpesa

To be safe, I advise that you enter your correct details as they appear on your National Identity card. This will save you from the errors many people get when trying to link their Mpesa phone numbers to PayPal. 

Next, add your address details. You should use your current address details because PayPal might need the same address details to lift your transaction limits in the future. 

mpesa paypal

Step 2: Activate your Kenyan PayPal account

The next step is to check your email inbox and find the PayPal email address confirmation email. Once you find that email address, click the “confirm my email address.”

paypal email confirmation

Step 3: Link your Kenyan card

Once you have confirmed your PayPal email address, you need to add a Kenyan card, but this step is optional (for now) as you can always hit the “not now” button. 

link card to paypal

However, I encourage you to link your Kenyan card immediately if you have one. One important thing to note is that you’ll need to have some funds in your card ($1.95) refundable. 

If you are using Equity bank Visa or MasterCard, you should get a message from Equity bank. In that message, you should be able to find a code (looks something like this PP*1234CODE) you will use in verifying your card. You need to enter only the four digits (1234). 

Take note that PayPal allows you to link any card, not just from Equity bank. You can link a cooperative bank Visa or any other card you have. 

add card to paypal

PayPal Personal vs PayPal Business Account

I touched briefly on a PayPal personal and business account but didn’t highlight the difference and who they suit. Well, a PayPal personal account is best for someone who just receives, buys items online, and withdraws from PayPal occasionally. 

On the other side, a business PayPal account is best for established freelancers, entrepreneurs or businesses who use PayPal regularly. I would, therefore, recommend that you go for a business PayPal account to avoid account limitations all the time. 

How to Link Mpesa to PayPal

paypal to mpesa

  • Click “get started”, and you’ll be redirected to an automatic sign in to your PayPal account (if your login details are saved on your computer.)
  • Add your Safaricom Mpesa phone number to link PayPal and Mpesa. 

  • You should receive a verification code in a text message. Enter your verification code to verify your phone number, and that’s it! 

How to Transfer Money From Mpesa to Paypal

  • Before anything, you’ll need to know the amount your need to transfer. Go to the PayPal Mobile Money official website and click the “top-up to PayPal” button. 
  • Next, you need to calculate the amount in Ksh you want to transfer from Mpesa to PayPal. This page below has a calculator that should help you do that. 
  • Once you have known the amount in Kenyan shillings you need to transfer to PayPal, go to your Safaricom toolkit app >> Mpesa >>Lipa Na Mpesa >>Paybill No (800088) >> Amount and Account Number (which should be the Mpesa number linked to your PayPal account.) 
  • You will get a notification confirming that you have deposited funds to your PayPal account. You can always verify that on your PayPal Mobile Money official website dashboard >> transaction history page. 

How to Withdraw Money From Paypal to Mpesa

PayPal to Mpesa

  • You should get a notification from Safaricom to confirm that you have initiated the transaction and that you will receive your money in minutes. 

Paypal to Mpesa Is Now Super Easy 

If you were looking to transact using the PayPal to Mpesa option as a freelancer on Upwork or a business, I hope this post helped a great deal. 

I’m sorry, I didn’t do this post early enough, but at least I created it with all the changes and updates as of 2020. 

I’ll appreciate it if you left a comment letting me know of your experience with PayPal to Mpesa functionality as a freelancer or businessperson. 


About The Author

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Hi, I’m Denzil Otieno, an ambitious, passionate entrepreneur, freelancer, and certified online marketer. Passion is my primary trait; resilience, grit, and self-reliance are the other forces that push me to overcome the odds and leave my mark on whatever I do in life.

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