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How to Withdraw your AdSense Earnings in Kenya

With the lack of traditional jobs, it’s no surprise that a lot of young Kenyans are venturing into online jobs. The favourite seems to be the writing segment, and more specifically, academic writing, which promises quick returns on the work done.

However, if you’re in it for the long haul then you’ve probably ventured into web ads from which you can earn something from displaying them alongside your content. It could be your site, blog or even streaming videos.

In the web ad space there’s no bigger name than that of Google’s AdSense which allows you to run ads on their very own hosted products and but more often, in third-party platforms like self-hosted sites and apps.

The hosted products include Blogger sites and the more common one, monetized YouTube channels. I take it you’ve any one of this and you currently have earnings in your AdSense account that you wish to withdraw.

Before You Can Withdraw

If it’s your first time withdrawing from AdSense, then you should know there are some few requirements that you should meet first. These include:

1. Your AdSense Account should be verified

Account verification is done after a certain threshold (address verification threshold) is reached in your earnings. The earning threshold is determined by the currency used in your AdSense.

If it’s US Dollar, Euro or Great British Pound the threshold is 10 [i.e. $10, €10 & £10]. Google sends you a physical mail with a PIN to the mailing address you registered the account with. Submitting this PIN in AdSense verifies your account.

Note: You can’t change the type of currency reported in your AdSense Account.

2. You must have reached your payment threshold for Google to release your earnings

The earnings threshold is also determined by the currency used in your AdSense Account. If it’s US Dollars, the threshold is $100, Euro is €70 and if it’s Great British Pound, its £60.

3. You must have set up a payment method

The first time you reach your payment threshold as stated in the previous point, you’ll be prompted by AdSense to set up a payment method.

You can get more info regarding all these conditions here.

Setting Up A Payment Method

Assuming you’ve completed those first two steps, let’s see how you can now get your earnings. Google, depending on your country (payment address), gives you the following payment options:

  • Checks
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
  • EFT via Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)
  • Wire Transfer
  • Western Union Quick Cash

If you’re in Kenya, you get three options: Checks, Wire Transfer and Western Union Quick Cash. Of these, the simplest way to get your earnings hassle free and within the quickest time is the last option: Western Union Quick Cash.

08/2020 Update: As of early 2021, Google will stop disbursing payments through Western Union for new users. You’re therefore required to select a different payment method before this date.

Since it’s no longer possible to add Western Union as a payment method, our next best option is Wire Transfer. With this method, you’ll need an account with a local bank that supports international Swift transfers.

Most of the major banks like KCB, NCBA, Equity, Co-operative etc support it, so this shouldn’t pose any challenge. If in doubt, consult your bank’s customer care and confirm if your current bank account accepts swift transfers or if you need to open a new one.

Set up AdSense Wire Transfer to Kenyan Bank

  1. Go to your AdSense Account > Menu > Payments and select Manage Payment Methods
  2. Select Add Payment Method then choose Add new wire transfer details
  3. In the pop up box that will appear fill the form with details of your National ID, your names as they appear in your bank account, the full name of your bank, its swift code and your bank account number.
  4. Set this as your primary method of payment and save the details.

Consult your bank to get the swift code and the correct full bank name. Otherwise you can also check the Transferwise site for a comprehensive list of swift codes for all Kenyan banks.

So for instance, for NCBA Bank the name should be NCBA BANK KENYA PLC and the swift code CBAFKENXXXX.

Receiving Your Payment

Google will now be sending your earnings automatically to your bank account at around the 21st of every month, assuming you’ve reached your payment threshold. If you’ve YouTube earnings, your Chapter 3 Withholding YouTube Tax will be deducted prior to sending the payment.

Starting March 2022 however, YouTube earnings will no longer be combined with the normal AdSense earnings. A dedicated YouTube payment account will be rolled out which means earnings for YouTube will be sent out separately once you reach the payment threshold.

You will get an email from Google every time a payment is disbursed in the address you’ve registered your AdSense account with.

A receipt of this payment will be available in your Payment Settings by going to: Menu  > Payments > View Transactions then under the earning period click to open the Automatic payment: Bank transfer to bank account…

The payment will however not arrive immediately in your account and may take between 1-3 working days depending on your bank. If it takes more, contact your bank for assistance.

With regards to fees and currency, the payment is sent in Euros and Google doesn’t charge you any fees for the transfer, though your bank may do so. Check with your bank to avoid any surprises.

As for the currency, depending on the type of account you hold, your bank may convert the Euros to Kenya Shillings (KES) using their latest exchange rates.

If you wish to receive the payment in Euros, you’ll need a foreign currency account in Euro instead of one in KES. Consult your respective bank on whether they offer this type of account.

I think that covers the most essential points on how to receive AdSense earnings via Wire Transfer but should you encounter any difficulties please check the Google support page or the wire transfer FAQ for troubleshooting.

You can also leave me your questions through my contact page. Cheers!

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Kelvin Kathia

Kelvin Kathia is the editor of Kenyan Fix, an informational blog that helps Kenyans with solutions to everyday questions on mobile networks, government services and banking.