PayPalA few days ago, Equity Bank revised its PayPal withdrawal fees, a move that has since seen new competition from Kenya’s number one telecoms operator, Safaricom.

The telco has finally announced the possibility to load or transfer cash from PayPal accounts via its insanely popular mobile money service, M-PESA. However, some of you may need to know how the two platforms compare owing to the reach of M-PESA and the fact that withdrawals have only been possible via Equity Bank for some time.

Notably, withdrawing cash from PayPal via Equity is based on the amount being transacted.


To withdraw USD 5001 or more, users will pay 1% of the withdrawal amount as service fees.

USD 2001-5000 range attracts as 1.125% fees.

For USD 1001-2000 and USD 501-1000, customers will pay 1.25% and 1.375% of the withdrawal amount respectively.

Lastly, USD <500 withdrawals will cost 1.5% of the withdrawal transaction.

On the other hand, Safaricom users will attract a flat 3% charge on all withdrawals made.

This means if you need to withdraw $500 from PayPal, you will be credited with $485 for M-PESA, whereas Equity Bank will credit you with $492.5.

Deposit to PayPal

M-PESA takes it further by allowing PayPal deposits that include a handy conversion tool on the web portal. Whereas ordinary/local M-PESA deposits cost nothing, moving cash from your account to PayPal comes at a price. Similar to withdrawal charges, loading PayPal will attract a flat 4% fee, in addition to pay bill transactions.

Say you need to deposit $500: you will be charged $20 (4%) and KES 220 in pay bill fees.

Depending on the amount being transacted, users will need to wait for a maximum of three days or a minimum of two hours to be credited for funds withdrawn from PayPal via M-PESA.

Do you think the convenience of M-PESA guarantees its higher transaction fee? Let us know in the comments section below.


  1. No it doesn’t, while MPesa is a great financial tool, its higher transaction fees shall doom it as competitors seek to gain advantages from it. The ability to get Paypal to your phone is fantastic but long term the cost and wait times are prohibitive( if it was instant, I would have warmly welcomed the service with the costs stated). Having being a longstanding Paypal to Equity user…I am sure an even better counter strategy is in the offing

    • When paypal to equity started, the wait time was 8 days so I would say maybe safaricom will do better than that

  2. There is no convenience with Mpesa; the maximum amount to withdraw is less than equity, charges are high to withdraw and deposit, and you still have to wait for your cash to be deposited within 3 business days just like equity. There is nothing to be excited about here. Unless withdrawing any amount is instant at any time of the week. Lemme stick to equity for paypal withdrawals. 3%?????

      • They Actually Do Charge
        It’s just that they don’t Screemout the charges all over the screen.
        Instead, they do so in the Conversion/Exchange rate.

        In other words, their KES per USD exchange rate is always 3% less than the current expected one. Just like the way Banks do with “Buying and Selling” of Currencies.

        The Waiting Time has Reduced Ever Since. (At the time of Writing: 16th August 2020)
        But this is majorly dependant on the amount being withdrawn.
        Small amounts now take less than 10 Minutes.

  3. Depending on the amount being transacted, users will need to wait for a maximum of three days or a minimum of two hours to be credited for funds withdrawn from PayPal via M-PESA……..WHAT!!!!

      • Equity deposits into my account exactly 72 hours after withdrawal to the minute. If I withdraw say today Friday at 22:00, I will receive the money on Monday at 22:00. Trust me, I have checked

        • The only exception was this years valentines day where they took an extra 12 hours. I dont know why

        • That is true @kennedy_gitahi:disqus , I have been using Equity’s service since it was launched. But I prefer Safaricom’s service now for two reasons:
          1. Since I am a freelancer and I receive my money mostly on Thursday or Friday, it feels good to have them hit my account in exactly 2hrs. I have made two withdrawals now since launch, and each of them has taken exactly 2hrs to arrive.

          2. While Equity charges a fee of 1% minimum for each withdrawal, the safaricom service does not charge any additional fees so the only charges I incur are the forex charges. As I posted elsewhere, for example, $30 would hit my account as KES 2962. Don’t you think KES 38 in that case is quite fair?

  4. Safaricom’s Mpesa may be worth it but only if the can make the wait time very short compared to equity otherwise…Equity is still the better option

  5. All these services are way too expensive but people tolerate them because we dont have better alternatives. I know “cheaper” 3rd party providers exist but sometimes in financial transactions there are other considerations other than costs. I have suffered numerous suspensions of my paypal account when using one of the many local Paypal to MPesa providers. As somebody who transacts on Paypal on a daily basis, this is good news irrespective of the high charges.

  6. Guys you can get your cash in 5 mins through , its really convenient than Equity and maybe the Mpesa stuff

  7. the whole idea isn’t well thought, they should allow remmitance too. Not just transferring to my account only.

  8. Hello Guys,Can someone assist me how to have a paypal account which i can receive fund in Tanzania?It’s bit challenge in Tanzania.
    Anyone know a way or article which explain the good way to bypass paypal restriction.I will be much appreciate.Thanks.

  9. Equity being a bank they have to admit service delivery within a short time is what is key to customer not like applying a loan and takes almost a century to mature. Whether the interest is low, what matters is timing am i able to get the money when i need it M-pesa will take most of the banking services by 2020.

  10. Depends on amount transferred,would prefer safaricom for small amounts that are processed in 2hrs & equity for large amounts >200 or non urgent cash

  11. Who else is being told that their paypal and mpesa accounts do not belong to the same person?

    I even opened a new paypal with my last name as the middle name to see if that was the issue but nope, still nothing

    • It is not the issue with Last name @kennedy_gitahi:disqus . At first I had the same challenge. I think they use National ID numbers to compare the accounts since when opening a Paypal account you specify the ID number right? So if ID numbers don’t match, that is when you receive that error.

  12. I was wondering why guys were complaining that Paypal to Safaricom MPESA charges are too high, now I know why.

    QUOTE 1: “On the other hand, Safaricom users will attract a flat 3% charge on all withdrawals made.” -> I think this is FALSE. Have you even used the service to verify that it is 3%? It conflicts with another article https:// that says the following:

    QUOTE 2: “There will also be no transaction charges on withdrawals but Forex charges will apply to the transactions. Deposits to PayPal via Mpesa Paybill will attract Paybill transaction costs.”

    When I withdrew $20 yesteday, the Exchange Rate was 1USD = KES. 98.08. Simple math will tell you that if there are no other charges you should receive 98.08*20 = KES1961.6. Well, guess what? The money arrived in my account as KES. 1962.

    Hence, having used the service myself, I can boldly disapprove the QUOTE1 and give the second quote from the other article a benefit of doubt. Guys who have used the system, please let others know about your experience.

    In my opinion, Safaricom is way much better than Equity BOTH in speed and cost because there are no additional charges when withdrawing, and while Equity takes a MINIMUM of 3 days (72hrs), Safaricom takes a MAXIMUM of 3 days but for smaller amounts the time is exactly 2hrs.

    • Nowadays safaricom products are for the rich. Their convenience comes along with very exhorbitant charges, which dont make sense to me. They no longer champion on improving people’s lives like during michael joseph’s era.
      Nowadays i hardly use any of their products,

    • I actually did the math on mine and it costs 2.8% on Safaricom/Paypal. The exchange rate today (4th September 2018 at 9:48 a.m.) is 100.72 yet I am getting 97.78. Plus their exchange rate seems stuck at that number the whole month (even when it is 103).

      In theory, on Equity, I would get about 1.5% which is nicer but it takes much longer since on Saf, my money is here in 2 hours (2 hours and 5 minutes when they are a bit lax). For larger amounts, I’m willing to wait though. Losing more than 2k on Safaricom’s platform isn’t quite worth it IMO. (Are there other charges from Equity aside from the 1.5% when withdrawing? Any caveat except the three day wait time)?

      • @Vera Equity also takes a cut through currency conversions. Their current forex exchange rate is KES 97 + 1.5% = – 3% (Give or take esp when the KSh/dollar hits 104, you lose even more). I did my own calculations and discovered a total deduction of 3.2%!! Now considering other cheaper alternatives.

  13. I think Safaricom should work on the rate….while in the markets it is 100+ per dollar, they are devaluing it to 97…., I think equity will out-compete them soon

  14. I have withdrawn from paypal just now.
    paypal = $ 68.57
    mpesa = 6,679
    equity = 6,588.67

    consider the 3% fixed rate for Saf and the 1.5% rate for equity. you realize Equity is stealing from us using hidden charges. dollar exchange rate is 97.4 Saf and 97.5 Equity.

  15. For quite a while now, my paypal-mpesa withdrawals have been hitting the wall; with some “can’t process the transaction RightNow — please contact your service provider” kind of BS!!!!.FYI I contacted Thunes; the third-party counterparts– but to no avail!! ….So I opted for the Equity option since it always goes through. White it takes longer than I can manage to anticipate, I think it’s still a solid money channel.

    • I can help you with this. Make PayPal balance as your preferred payment option. If u use ur card then mpesa transactions won’t work . Plus there’s nothing like 3% for safaricom. What they tell me at the site is what i get in my mpesa. Trust me I’ve been doing equity transactions since 2014 . And safaricom rocks at this one . Equity has hidden charges . Just try withdraw an amount let’s say 500$ to safaricom and 500 to equity. Equity is a scam in this one . Safaricom does it right just on this one . Hope it helps

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