Guest Post By: Roger Gichuhi
Last week we had representatives from PayPal at the iHub discussing PayPal in emerging markets and understanding user needs.
The biggest challenge has been withdrawing funds from PayPal, before this was only possible via a US bank account, but now it’s possible via Equity Bank at a 1.5% fee. The service has been up and running for a few months now, but it was officially announced last week. To get started and link your Equity Bank account to PayPal go here.
One of the questions raised during the lunch at iHub, was integration of Mobile Money with PayPal. This will definitely be a big boost for the unbanked African market space. Malvina Goldfield, Head of PayPal’s Business Development for Africa expressed PayPal’s desire to do this, but the mobile money providers have to meet global standards requirements and collect more user info, which they currently don’t do. Perhaps this is something that might change in the future.
However there’s a way you can link MPESA with Paypal via an over the counter VISA debit card. This has been made possible by Nation partnership with Diamond Trust Bank to introduce NationHela.
- Get a NationHela card - The NationHela debit card can be purchased at leading supermarkets across the country or at Diamond Trust Bank outlets and NationHela agents.
- Activate the card: When you buy the NationHela card, you need to activate the card first before you start using it. Activating the card means using your mobile phone to dial the USSD code *348# You will be prompted to send an SMS with the last 8 digits of your card pack ID which is found on your PIN mailer and the last 8 digits of your Card number. Please note that all card pack ID numbers are unique and that you cannot use someone else’s number. You will then receive an SMS confirming that your card has been activated. Write your name and sign on the back of your card immediately
- Load money from Mpesa to card: Log into the Pay Bill menu on the M-PESA account and enter the NationHela PayBill number 516602. Enter the NationHela mobile number (Your mobile number) and amount you’d like to top up.
- Link card to PayPal: Use this guide
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