You are here Home » Start-ups » Business Plans » PayPal and M-Pesa partner to enable Safaricom subscribers to buy merchandise and receive payment from all over the world

PayPal and M-Pesa partner to enable Safaricom subscribers to buy merchandise and receive payment from all over the world

by Milicent Atieno
paypal m-pesa

E-commerce has long been praised to be convenient and affordable for both the seller and the buyer, but that has only been true in developed countries where the online digital infrastructure has been properly set up.

Though there is a good number of consumers and businesses who shop or sell online in the developing countries such as Kenya. Their e-commerce experience is more often than not far from convenient. First there is the big problem of sending or receiving payment, followed by shipment of the package or cargo.

The good news for Kenyan subscribers of the Safaricom network is that on the sending or receiving payment front, things just go a lot better with the announcement that PayPal is collaborating with M-Pesa.

PayPal remains the global leading digital currency payment platform and virtually all major businesses across the globe do accept payment or receive payment via the service. M-Pesa is the defacto cashless money sending or receiving platform for many Kenyans. The partnering of the two services, facilitated by TransferTo means that the majority of Kenyans can now ‘more conveniently’ send and receive money via PayPal.

Before the partnership, Kenyans could only withdraw money from their PayPal account via third parties; these third parties often proved to be costly. They were also using exchange rates that do not favor the users withdrawing the money.

Thanks to the deal bridged by TransferTo, Safaricom subscribers can easily send and receive money between their M-Pesa and PayPal wallets. Qualifying M-Pesa users can link their PayPal account to their M-Pesa wallets. Thus they can easily and securely buy goods and services from online markets from around the world.

M-Pesa’s collaboration with PayPal will open up global marketplaces and the global economy to millions of Kenyan and Kenyan-based businesses and individuals. Beyond money transfers, this development ushers in a new era of speed and convenience beyond borders, as we work towards innovating robust platforms through which more entrepreneurs and consumers can benefit from the growing e-commerce industry,” said Joseph Ogutu, the Director of Strategy at Safaricom.

His counterpart, PayPal General Manager for the Middle East, Africa, and Russia, Efi Dahan, said: “PayPal’s collaboration with M-Pesa is part of the company’s long-term strategy to enable e-commerce and democratize financial services on the African continent.”

Peter De Caluwe, the CEO at TransferTo, added: “We are proud to have been chosen by these two world-class payments providers to bridge the gap between the services offered in developed countries with those available in emerging markets – which is the cornerstone of TransferTo’s mission.”

How to Withdraw from PayPal to M-Pesa

Go to the PayPal web page and register your M-Pesa mobile number. The registration process will entail you receive a confirmation code on the phone number you are registering, so be sure it is active and within your reach. You will also need to activate your PayPal account.

After registration, log in to PayPal and you will be met by two options ‘Withdraw from PayPal’ and ‘Top up to PayPal.’

Click on ‘Withdraw from PayPal’ and the next page will take you to a box where you can enter the amount you want to withdraw. Currently, you can only enter the amount in U.S. dollars.

The next page will show you the amount (in Kenyan Shillings) you want to withdraw to your M-Pesa account, the current exchange rate, and the transaction processing time. Click on sent to M-Pesa to effect the transfer.

Click on ‘Confirm’ to effect the withdrawal of the given amount from your PayPal account to your M-Pesa mobile wallet.

How to Send money from M-Pesa to PayPal

To use this service you first need to link your PayPal account to M-Pesa, then log in to

Then click on ‘Top Up to PayPal.’

Enter the amount (in US dollars) you wish to top up and then click ‘Calculate.’ You will be given the exact amount in Kenyan Shillings, which will be the amount you will need to send from your M-Pesa account.

Take out your phone and go to the M-Pesa menu and select ‘Pay Bill’.

Enter the Business no. as 800088

Next, enter your phone number as your ‘Account No.’

Enter the amount you want to send (this will be in Kenya Shillings), which will be converted to USD.

Enter your PIN and voila, you are done.

You should note that when you are withdrawing from PayPal to your M-Pesa account, you are charged 3% of the amount you are withdrawing. The wait time for the transaction to be processed take between two hours and three calendar days, depending on the amount being withdrawn.

When topping up your PayPal from your M-Pesa account, you are charged 4% of the amount you are topping up.

When the amount has been credited to your account, you will receive an SMS from M-Pesa and an email from PayPal confirming the process completion. Normal M-Pesa charges apply when you are handling the transactions. M-Pesa limits still apply; a maximum of Ksh. 70,000 per transaction and Ksh. 140,000 per day.

You may also like