Update: NationHela have suspended PayPal loads. Currently you can’t withdraw from PayPal using NationHela. Click here for more.
Update 7th Jan, 2013: ePay have suspended PayPal transactions. Click here for more
NationHela has been the newest talk of town. Both freelancers and money transfer customers have been flooding Google, NationHela customer care and DTB looking for answers on just how it works.Read on for a thorough and impartial review on it.
I appreciate two great FreelancerKenya readers, Lucy and Benleem who have really helped with the facts. You can check out interactions with them in the comments section of the post, iWriter Suspends Kenya.
What is NationHela?
It is a money transfer service pioneered by Nation Media Group in conjunction with DTB Bank. It allows users to send and receive money using the prepaid NationHela debit card. Users can receive cash from other services such as MoneyGram and international credit/debit cards. What’s more, you can also use it to withdraw money from PayPal which is great news for freelancers. The big question is, how does it compare to ePay-Kenya and Payoneer which have been our trusted friends in terms of PayPal withdrawal? We’ll look into that shortly.
How Does NationHela Work?
- Buy their card from DTB or any authorized distributor here. The card costs Sh. 500 but it is more of a free card since you’ll get Sh. 500 in the card once you activate it.
- Register as instructed by the agent.
- Your phone number will then become your account number so you will not need any other physical account.
- Visit their site through the link below this post and do a one time registration.
2. Sending Cash from NationHela
- Dial *348# from your phone and follow the prompts to send to another Hela user, M-Pesa or to pay a bill. Click here to see their charges.
- Sign in to your online account and send cash to another NationHela user. Just go to Transactions > Wallet to Wallet Transfer.
2. Withdrawing Money From PayPal
- Go to the NationHela homepage
- Click on “Send Money Here”. You don’t have to log in.
- Follow the clear prompts given
- On payment details, choose PayPal
- You’ll receive the money within 24 hours in your card. This will be indicated in a text message.
- Transfer the cash to your M-Pesa account, withdraw it from an ATM, make a Visa transaction in a supermarket or any other place accepting Visa or use it to pay your electricity or water bill
Comparison between ePay-Kenya, The NationHela Card and the Payoneer Card for PayPal Withdrawals
As stated above, this has been the biggest question in all freelancers’ minds. We’ll compare different areas that are important to a freelancer.
In my article, How to Get Your First Million Freelancing in Kenya, I conducted a poll which shows that most freelancers in Kenya earn between Sh. 5,000 and Sh. 100,000. Therefore, let’s look at a scenario where one earns $500 a month and compare the three options above. Let’s also assume that the dollar rate for today is Sh. 80 per dollar.
Go to ePay-Kenya and use their calculator to see what you’ll receive when withdrawing $500. Currently, it shows you’ll receive Sh. 37,146 in your M-Pesa or Airtel Money account.
The current NationHela charges are as below:
|Amount Withdrawn in dollars||Transaction Fees|
The withdrawal limit is $250 per transaction therefore to withdraw $500 you would need to do two $250 transactions. These will both cost you $12.50 therefore a total of $25. Your net income in dollars will be $475 which will translate to Sh. 38,000 on your NationHela card.
Payoneer has the following charges:
ATM Withdrawal Decline
Monthly Account Maintenance (0-2 transactions per month)
Monthly Account Maintenance (3+ transactions per month)
Receiving cash from PayPal
1% of the amount sent
Activation Fee (charged once)
Going back to our example, when you send $500 from PayPal to Payoneer, you’ll receive less 1% which is $495 in your Payoneer account. Here you can deduct the monthly fee $3 and ATM withdrawal fee $2.15. You’ll remain with $489.85 which translates to Sh. 39,188!
ePay-Kenya delivers the fastest. You will get the cash within minutes after withdrawing. With NationHela, you’ll get the cash latest in 24 hours. Payoneer takes the longest time since you get the cash in 3 days.
3. Additional Fees
The calculations for Payoneer above are exact, actual calculations for receiving cash at the time of writing. For ePay-Kenya and NationHela, there are additional fees for withdrawing from M-Pesa or through the ATM. If you are on Safaricom, NationHela will deduct Sh. 10-15 every time you access their USSD portal via *348#.
Important Points to Note
- It is better to use Airtel to register instead of Safaricom in case you have two SIM cards. Airtel does not deduct Sh. 10-15 every time you dial *348#
- NationHela currently has a sending limit of $250 for any single transaction
- Once you get the NationHela card, you get a bonus of Sh. 500 which is the amount you spent buying it in the first place. If you choose to use the card to purchase something in a supermarket, no fees will be charged and you’ll have gotten the card absolutely free.
- Avoid withdrawing small amounts of less than $100 using any of these systems. In fact, if things are tough you can go for $50 strictly using Payoneer which is the most affordable. If you withdraw very few dollars, you will end up with almost 50% the value of the cash you want to withdraw if you use ePay or Nationhela. In fact the larger amounts you withdraw, the more economical it will be for you.
- It is wise to apply for all these systems at once and use them at the appropriate times. They are all free to apply although for NationHela you’ll need to actually pay the Sh. 500 then get it back as a bonus in your account.
- If you apply for a Payoneer card using the link below, you’ll get $25 absolutely free.
- You’ll find a lot of negative reviews on the NationHela card but ignore all that, most of this is just noise from people who have and will never use it. It actually works and comes for free. As I once said, let others make noise as you make money.
- Once you receive your NationHela card, give it at least 3 days before you start using it so that you can use all its services. The first and second day may seem to have a myriad of issues but in the third day it should work fine.
- Click here to apply for a Payoneer card and get a free $25
- Click here to access the NationHela website for more information
- Click here to access the ePay-Kenya website
Conclusion and Recommendation
All these options have their advantages and disadvantages. If I was to choose one as the overall best, then I would go for Payoneer without a doubt. This is because of their low fees, the card is free and you can get $25 for free when applying for it. ePay is great for emergencies where the benefits outweigh the costs due to their instant delivery. With the NationHela card, you can pay bills, send money to M-Pesa and use it to verify your PayPal account. Use the useful links above to apply for these options and you’ll have an easier time withdrawing money from PayPal in Kenya.