When you want to send money to family and friends back home, you might end up spending more than you should. But with a little homework, sending money from countries like US, UK, Canada, Germany, France etc to Kenya shouldn’t be hard and expensive.
You can send money offline from forex bureaus or your bank or more conveniently from your PC online or using an APP. Several money transfer service providers have different ways of letting you send money and we’ve curated the top 10 for you.
World Remit is by far our most trusted, fastest and most convenient way of sending money from abroad to family and friends anywhere in African including Kenya. With World remit you can pay using your credit card or bank account and send money directly to the recipient’s mobile money such as M-Pesa , bank account or pick-up location. You can also send airtime topup to the following Kenyan mobile networks Safaricom, Airtel Kenya, Orange Kenya.
Start here to send money to family and friends in Kenya using World remit.
Moneygram offers a number of options of sending money to Kenya. They offer cash pick-up where money is received from Moneygram partner pickup locations within about 10 minutes of sending. Alternatively Moneygram can send money directly to the recipient’s bank account. This usually takes hours to days depending on banking hours and systems availability, good funds availability, approval by verification systems and local laws and regulations. Lastly you can you can send money directly to your receiver’s mobile wallet account.
Moneygram can send directly to MPESA in Kenyan Shilling (KES). The money is typically deposited to the account within minutes after the transfer is submitted.
To send money online to Kenya using Moneygram, visit their website here.
Payoneer provides you with a US bank account as though you actually lived in the US. This makes it possible to receive money from anywhere in the world. For us in Africa, you want to use Payoneer to withdraw funds from Paypal. Because Paypal doesn’t allow cash withdraw from most African countries including Kenya, signing for a Payoneer mastercard could be your work around. You could also withdraw money from your Paypal account in Kenya using Equity bank even though it takes 3-10 working days.
To start receiving global payments or make Paypal withdraws in Kenya via Payoneer, start here.
TransferWise is a British online money transfer service founded in January 2011 by Estonians Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus and is based in London. They claim they just use the exchange rate – independently provided by Reuters which apparently is low-cost and fair.
To get started sending money to Kenya, start here.
Depending on where you are sending money from, you can send money directly to any M-Pesa mobile number in Kenya. Most remittance companies now integrate with M-Pesa. For instance, MTN Mobile Money from the markets they operate in can send money directly to M-Pesa. Fintech startups such as Flutterwave, Paystack, Eversend, Barter, Chipper cash all have M-Pesa support.
Simbapay lets you transfer money from European countries such as UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Spain to Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria at no extra cost. They make money through foreign exchange rates. Transactions to mobile wallets such as M-Pesa are paid out instantly while those to recipient bank account might range from instant to 3 days depending on the package you select.
Related post: Send money to Nigeria through 10 different ways
Remit is a remittance transfer service that offers real-time debit or credit card to mobile money transfers from all over the world to registered mobile-money users in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. If you want the fastest and cheapest way to send money to M-Pesa user, then think about Remit.
Update: Useremit is now Eversend which bills itself as a neobank for Africans anywhere in the world.
Xoom, a Paypal division that processes money transfers partnered with Safaricom to enable money transfers from abroad directly to Mpesa accounts within just 24 hours. You can keep track of your transfers via text updates, email notifications, online access from your PC or mobile device. Xoom also offers a money back guarantee such that in the event that your money doesn’t reach the intended recipient, you get a refund.
To send money to any M-Pesa mobile wallet in Kenya, start here.
Most people are already probably aware of Western Union, the 130+ year company that’s dominated international money transfers for decades. Western Union isn’t any much different from Money gram in terms of their operations. You can send money in person from their agents locations or online or via an App. The recipient can get their money from western union agent locations in person or money can be transferred directly to their bank account. Western Union gives you the option of sending money from your debit/credit card or directly from your bank account.
To send money to Kenya using Western Union, start here.
Transfast is an online money transfer service with presence in over 120 countries in the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia. Transfast allows direct bank deposit to several banks in Kenya including Bank of Africa, Barclays, Chase bank, Citibank, UBA Kenya, Diamond Trust, Ecobank, Standard Chartered among others. You can also send money directly to mobile phone with M-Pesa account. Alternatively the recipient can get money from Pick up cash at 1,200+ locations nationwide.
To send money to Kenya online using Transfast, start here.
NationHela is another online money transfer service provider that lets you send money online to friends and family in Kenya. You can send money directly to a NationHela account holder or to just about any bank account in Kenya.
If you are to send to a NationHela user, the recipient can get a NationHela card from any Diamond Trust Bank or Nakumatt Supermarket and activates it through his/her mobile phone. They should also fill in the registration form provided in the pack and drop it off at any DTB Branch or NationHela agent.
Skrill (formerly Moneybookers) is a Paypal competitor with features such as free setup, low fees, and the ability to send text messages straight from your account. Skrill lets you send money to any M-Pesa account in Kenya. The recipient also does not have to be pre-registered to the M-Pesa service in order to receive your payment.
To send money to Kenya using Skrill, go here.
So that’s it people; 10 different ways to send money online from where ever you are in the world to your family and friends in Kenya. We know the list is not exhaustive, but that’s our best shot. If you know of any other ways to send money to Kenya or if you have had experiences with any of the service providers we have mentioned above, let us know in the comments below.