How to register and verify your PayPal account in Kenya


PayPal


What is PayPal


PayPal is one of the biggest online transaction processors in the world. It allows people to make payments and buy goods and services online.

One of the main reasons why people prefer using it is the fact that it is accepted on multiple platforms and once you’re registered and verified, you can buy items and make payments without having to enter your credit card details each time.

It is fully functional and legal in Kenya. To see where else it operates, check out the PayPal list of countries. PayPal in Kenya can be accessed through its official Kenyan url https://www.paypal.com/ke.

How do you register and verify your PayPal account


You can simply go to PayPal.com/ke (if you’re in Kenya make sure the link has a “ke”) and register your account by clicking on “sign up” then entering your details. You can then ignore the part of entering your credit card and proceed to use PayPal services.

If you do this, your account will have a send/withdrawal limit. You will not be able to send more than $500 if you don’t link a Kenyan credit or debit (ATM) card.

To make your registration and verification smooth and without send/withdrawal limits, you need to have a working credit or debit card (ATM) card that has online access. This way, you can register and verify your account on the same day.

Here is what you should do.
  • Open a Kenyan account if you don’t have. Make sure you choose a bank that uses Visa or MasterCard e.g. Co-operative, Equity Bank and Barclays among others. KenSwitch cards will not help you here.
  • Once you get your ATM card (or if you already have it), call the number at the back of the card and ask whether it’s enabled for online transactions. You can also ask your bank to ensure that the ATM card has online access when opening a new account.
  • Make sure the account has around an equivalent of 3 USD on the current dollar rates.
  • Go to PayPal.com and click on sign up then write down your ATM card number where prompted to do so. These are the 16 digits on the front side of your ATM card.
  • If you are already registered to PayPal and just want to link and verify your account, go to PayPal and click on “Wallet” then “Link a Card”.
  • Follow the prompts
  • You’ll get a notification stating that you will get a certain code on your bank statement in 3 days. Usually it comes immediately so you can just walk to your nearest branch and take the latest statement and you’ll see the code. Note that ATM mini-statements may not have the whole code. If your bank supports M-Banking, you should receive the code immediately on SMS. The code is in this format PP*1234CODE. The number appearing where I’ve written “1234” is the four digit code that you’ll enter on your PayPal account.
  • When you have the code, go to PayPal and click on “Wallet” then “Confirm Card”. Enter the code where prompted.
  • Your withdrawal limit will be lifted and you’ll be free to enjoy PayPal transactions of any amounts.

Examples of Kenyan Banks that you can link with PayPal

As stated above, you can use any Kenyan bank that has a MasterCard or Visa cards. There are known issues with some banks though. For example, at the time of writing this, many people have had problems using their normal KCB ATM cards and were forced to buy their prepaid card which goes for a whooping Sh. 1000 and has monthly charges of Sh. 100.

Below are some banks that you can use:

Equity Bank


Advantages of Equity Bank’s ATM cards are:
  • It is the only bank in Kenya that assists Kenyans to withdraw money from PayPal.
  • Equity’s new Visa cards come already enabled for online transactions.
  • Since you can withdraw from PayPal using Equity, it may be easier for you to access loans as a freelancer
Note that Equity only allows 2 online transactions per day at the time of writing this.

Co-operative Bank


Co-operative is good because:
  • It has superb M-Banking features so if you’re registered with this, you’ll get an immediate text after linking your account. Therefore, you will register and link your account within minutes, without having to step out of your house. Nowadays most banks have such services. Back when I first wrote this post only a few had that.
  • Unlike Equity, you can make more than 2 online transactions in a day without having to sign extra consent forms.
To link with Co-operative bank, you’ll need to visit a branch and fill a form to grant your card online access.

Prepaid Cards


You can buy prepaid cards from NationHela, KCB, I&M etc. These cards will be “independent” cards that you can load and use without having an account in these banks.

These are just examples. You can link your PayPal account with cards from multiple other banks and providers.
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