TransferTo Enables Paypal to Mpesa With Safaricom and Paypal’s Blessings

Kenya shilling

TransferTo, a Singapore based money transfer service has integrated Paypal with Mpesa. Safaricom mobile money service Mpesa users will now transfer PayPal funds to Mpesa following this new development announced by Safaricom.

PayPal use for Kenyans has been a journey, initially only accessible via proxy accounts in the United States, then officially launched for Kenya where users could register for accounts, but without a way to move money out officially.

Equity Bank was the first formal way to achieve this, with South Africa’s First National Bank, that meant withdrawals took 8 working days. Much later, this moved to 3 working days after Equity Bank got approved to transact directly with PayPal.

Of course there have been other players, not officially recognized by Paypal like Chura which found a few roadblocks and had to take a break.

Enter Safaricom

Well, TransferTo is not exactly the first as PayPal’s Xoom had gone in first 2 years ago with a huge promise to get us to cross over to the promised land. Seems it didn’t pick on. TransferTo is here now and the service has blessings for both Safaricom and PayPal as they both have been quoted in the press release sent out by Safaricom.

How to transfer PayPal to Mpesa

One will need to have both a PayPal account and an Mpesa account. Head over to TransferTo’s PayPal-Mpesa website and log in via your PayPal account. To link your accounts, enter the Mpesa phone number after which you will enter a 4 digit verification sent via text. Withdrawals will be performed on the same website where you click withdraw from PayPal, select amount which will show you the conversion to Kenya Shillings as well as the estimated time of arrival. Withdrawals could take anywhere from instant to 3 days, depending on the amount being withdrawn.

Top up also requires you to initiate the transaction from the same site where you will enter the amount in dollars that you wish to load. You will get the Kenya shillings equivalent. You will need to use Paybill number 800088 and your phone number as they are still stuck in 2016, there is no Mpesa Express based off Mpesa API v2. Top up could take a few hours.

Transaction charges

There are Forex charges of 3 percent for withdrawals and 4 percent for account top-up. Top up also attracts Paybill charges.


Every silver lining has a cloud, and the cloud here is that withdrawals amount is limited by Mpesa transaction amount of Kshs 70,000 and daily transaction limits of Kshs 140,000 a day. This is where rival Equity Bank has one leg up.

All in all, any new solution that presents better options for customers is very much welcome, and this is a good move by Safaricom.

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