Paypal. You’ve probably heard of it. Or maybe you haven’t?
Well, Paypal is a popular online payment website, and one of the earliest online payment options in the world. I like Paypal because it allows me to pay for stuff online, without the company or the person I am paying, seeing my card info. It’s also easy to receive payments from other people, especially if you are working online, from almost anywhere in the world. The number of countries that support Paypal payments currently stands at about 202 countries.
Read on as I address three key issues people face when they are trying to open a Paypal account in Kenya. First, all the steps you take to set it up, that is, from the web address to use to entering your details and signing into your new account. Secondly, how to verify your account (lifting limits). Thirdly, how to link your account to an Equity Bank Account. This is the only way you can withdraw your funds directly from PayPal to you (other methods exist) via bank. Finally, I will highlight the issue of limited accounts and how to lift the limits.
One of the challenges that people who encounter, when they are trying to sign up to Paypal, is using the wrong address. To be on the safe side, go directly to the PayPal sub-domain for Kenya which is: https://www.paypal.com/ke
Fill in your details. Provide a valid email address and enter a strong password. Combine letters in both upper and lower case, and include numbers as well. It doesn’t hurt to include punctuation marks too. The longer the password, the harder it is for a hacker to crack it. Once your password is accepted (you will see some green ticks appear if it is accepted), press “CONTINUE.” Most people have a problem with the Postal address part. Use your own details as using falsified information might haunt you in the future, especially with verification. Once your details have been accepted, click CONTINUE and the following page appears.
At this stage PayPal needs you to add your card details (VISA or MasterCard). Note that you can use a card from most banks or organizations such as Nakumatt. However, they must be VISA or MasterCard branded.
WATCH VIDEO: HOW TO OPEN A PAYPAL ACCOUNT IN KENYA
If you chose to skip the verification step, that is still okay. You can fill in the details later. However, be aware that some clients and services might require your account to be verified before sending or receiving cash from you. Scribie, a transcription site, is one such company. You can still use the account until you reach some limits (about $1,000) . After that, PayPal will require you to add the card (this is known as verification).
To skip this, look at the top-left side of your PC. Do you see the PayPal logo there? Click it and it will redirect you to the landing page (called Summary). Look for the following section and click on “CONFIRM EMAIL ADDRESS.”
This will send an email to your inbox. Log into it and find the email titled “Welcome to PayPal.” Open it and click on the ACTIVATE button. A new page will open. On that page, enter the password you created. The above section will now look like this:
From the above image, the “link a card” image is not highlighted. You can choose to 1) add the card or 2) start using your account. To receive payment, you simply give out your Paypal address (which is the email address you used to create the account) to the payee. When you receive the funds, it will be indicated in the “PayPal Balance” section.
Adding a Bank Card To Your Paypal Account
I am assuming you have an Equity bank MasterCard or VISA (commonly known as ATM). You can use the same cards from different banks such as Co-op. Nakumatt’s shopping card is also accepted. However, make sure you can access the statement for the card or account attached to the card.
On the left side of your PayPal account, click “ADD a BANK ACCOUNT OR CARD.”
In the next page, click on the “CREDIT CARDS” section, in the “Link A Card” part. The following dialogue box appears:
As you can see, the Postal Address you used will automatically appear. This is why you must use your real details. However, you can click the drop-down arrow at the end of the address section and enter a new address (if you wish). Under CARD TYPE, you can choose either a VISA or MasterCard. The CARD NUMBER is written on the front face of your ATM card. Check for the EXPIRY usually written as MM/YY (month and year). 06/18 means expiry date is June 2018. Type it in. CSC is the three-digit code at the back of your card. Key it in and press SAVE.
This step will require that you have approximately Kshs. 250 in your account. PayPal will deduct about $1.75 from your account (card) for the process. However, they will refund it to your PayPal account within 24 hours.
After saving your card, you will see the prompt “confirm/verify your card.” When you click it, you will be asked to enter a PayPal confirmation code. It is usually a 4-digit code as shown below:
- At this stage, if your bank account/card is linked with your cell phone, you might receive an SMS with the transaction information. In it, you will see the code written as PP*1234. Type this number in the “ENTER CODE” section provided by PayPal.
- Secondly, if your account isn’t linked with your cell phone, you need to visit the bank and request for the Credit Card statement. A similar code will be found on the statement. Enter it in the ENTER CODE section and click CONTINUE. If the card and code are valid, the process is complete.
WATCH VIDEO: HOW TO VERIFY YOUR PAYPAL ACCOUNT WITH YOUR EQUITY BANK CARD
NB: At times, this process might fail. One of the reasons might be lack of sufficient funds in your account. Have at least 250/=. Second, the bank might not have enabled the card for online transactions. It could also be that your account is dormant. However, the process should work if you have followed the above instructions.
WITHDRAWING YOUR PAYPAL FUNDS IN KENYA
- Via Equity Bank
Equity Bank allows account holders to withdraw money in an average 3 days’ time. It used to be 8 days but they improved it in late 2016. Here’s the process to withdraw money from Equity Bank Kenya:
- Go to their withdrawal portal by clicking here.
- On your PayPal account, click on WITHDRAW FROM PAYPAL.
- In the box that appears, choose the type of account you own (either the Personal/Individual or Business account).
- Next key in your Equity Account Number. A secret PIN will be sent to the email address which Equity uses to send you emails (the one you provided during registration).
- Log into your email to access the PIN and type it into the PayPal page.
- Then fill in all the requested information, click on the Terms and Conditions prompt and click “Pay Via PayPal.” After that, hit “FINISH” and you are good to go.
- Start waiting to receive your money in about 3 days.
Once the money has been withdrawn, you will receive confirmation from Equity Bank, PayPal and FNB (the mediator bank which sends the money from PayPal to Equity).
- The PayPal email should be the same one you used to register with Equity bank!
- Via Agents
If you need your money immediately, you can use PayPal to M-Pesa agents. These are dealers who will help you transfer money from Paypal to Mpesa. They don’t do it for free though. They are merely doing an exchange of currencies for a small profit. They save you time but are more expensive than Equity (Equity only charges 1.5% of the sum).
You need to identify a credible dealer BEFORE initiating any deal with anyone. There are cons online who steal from hardworking freelancers. To avoid these scavengers, only inquire about trusted dealers before sending your money!
LIFTING A BAN (Limited Accounts)
One of the biggest problems with PayPal is that they can limit your account. If you reach a certain limit , they’ll ask you to provide more details before receiving or sending any more money. At times, they will limit your account before you hit the limits. However, there are several reasons why they might limit your account.
- If they suspect that the funds you have received are from dubious sources.
- If you receive a lot of money in a new account.
- If your account is used on too many devices.
- If your account is accessed from another country.
- If they notice suspicious activities such as too many failed attempts to log in.
- At times, Paypal will limit your account for no reason!
Once Paypal limits your account, how do you fix it? You’ll need to provide some documentation to prove ownership. They might ask for:
- A little information about the source of the money.
- A scanned copy of your ID or Passport.
- A scanned copy of your photo.
- A proof of address such as a utility bill (Water bill, Kenya Power Bill, etc).
- A bank statement, or
- A credit card statement.
- A working phone number.
- Verification of card (explained earlier)
You will upload these documents to their portal and they will review it. If they are accepted, you will regain access to your account and move on with life. However, if your documents are fake and they find out, they will permanently limit your account. If you had any funds in it, you might have to wait 180 days (6 months) then withdraw it or it might be gone forever! See why you should use your real details?
PayPal is a great platform to use to receive and send money, if you do everything right. In fact, limitation is meant to protect your money and the general freelancers who use it. As such, do not hate or be afraid of it. Once you add the card and lift your limits, you should enjoy flawless service from PayPal. Lastly, I should mention that there is a Paypal app for iOS and Android. On the app, you can check your account activity, send money and request for funds.
It is my hope that I have demystified a few things about Paypal.
Over to you. What do you love or .. . not love about Paypal?