How to Withdraw Money from PayPal to M-PESA

PayPal is one of the most common payment methods used online. For a long time now, most Kenyans working online have had to rely on Equity bank and some middlemen services to get access to their PayPal funds locally.

However, thanks to the partnership between Safaricom and Transfer-To (now DT One/Thune), users can now conveniently withdraw money from their PayPal accounts straight into their M-PESA accounts.

Through this service, the funds are automatically converted into the local currency (KES) and deposited into one's M-PESA account after two hours or a maximum of 3 days.

With that said, only amounts in USD ($) can be withdrawn using the service however PayPal does provide means to convert funds in a different currency to USD.

The service is also not free and includes a charge that we'll see later in the article.



Transfer Money from PayPal to M-PESA

1. First things first, you have to link your PayPal account with your M-PESA account.

2. After doing that, go to the PayPal M-PESA page and on your top right, click the Log In button to sign into your PayPal account.

3. After logging in, click the Withdraw from PayPal button.
withdraw from paypal
Withdraw from PayPal

4. Next you'll be shown the current available balance in your PayPal account. Below it enter the amount in USD (United States Dollars) to withdraw then click the Continue to Withdraw button.
paypal usd balance
Available PayPal Balance in USD

Note:
  • You can withdraw a maximum of Ksh70,000 per transaction. As such, convert your amount to KES using the current exchange rates to ensure you've not gone past this limit.
  • Your M-PESA account can only hold a maximum of Ksh100,000. Plan your transactions accordingly to ensure you don't exceed this limit.
  • Only amounts in USD can be withdrawn using the service. To withdraw amounts in a different currency, first convert the funds to USD by going to your Manage Currencies section inside your PayPal account.

5. In the next page you'll be prompted to confirm the withdrawal.

The amount to be withdrawn will have been converted to KES and the exchange rate used will be shown as well as tthe amount of time it will take to process the transaction e.g. 2 hours.
exchange rate
Exchange Rate and Processing Time

Click the Confirm button to continue.

6. Finally you'll get a confirmation message that your withdrawal request has been successfully recorded and will be processed within a specified duration.

You'll also receive an SMS from Safaricom confirming the processing of the transaction.
Processing SMS
Processing SMS from Safaricom

7. Now you only have to wait the specified time to get SMS's from Safaricom and M-PESA confirming the money has been received. 
Transaction SMS
PayPal to M-PESA Transaction SMS

Meanwhile you can view the status of your transaction by clicking the Transaction History link that's on the PayPal M-PESA site's menu.
View Transaction History

If you don't receive your funds after the specified time, you can get help by contacting the Transfer-To customer service.

In the message include your transaction ID (available in the Transaction History page) and your email address.



Fees Charged for PayPal to M-PESA Withdrawal

TransferTo charges a 3% conversion fee for the amount withdrawn.

This conversion fee is subtracted from the exchange rate used to convert the USD amount to KES and NOT the amount being withdrawn. The exchange rate shown when confirming the withdrawal has the conversion fee already subtracted.

Let's take a look of sample transaction to help you understand better how this works.

Example of a Transaction

Let's assume you're withdrawing $20 USD to your M-PESA and the current exchange rate is: 1 USD = 100.20 KES

Amount in KES: 20 x 100.20 = 2,004
Conversion fee: 3/100 x 100.20 = 3.006
Exchange rate used for transfer: 100.20 - 3.006 = 97.194
Amount sent to M-PESA: 20 x 97.194 = 1,944
Fee Charged: 2004 - 1944 = 60

Based on this, it would seem that Equity's PayPal service fees are slightly lower compared to those of Transfer-To/Safaricom.


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