The most common question I get is, “How do you make money online in Kenya?” The second most common question is, “How does that online cash get to your hands?” Well, here are a couple of options you can use to withdraw online cash.
Skrill provides a simple way for you to withdraw your online cash. Once you get cash to your Skrill, you can withdraw it in different ways, such as mobile wallets, bank, crypto, etc.
Kenyans can withdraw from Skrill to MPESA.
This used to be lightning fast.
However, after a few years, the Skrill to M-PESA method stopped being instant and started having a few hitches, with people getting errors or payment delays.
It still works, though, even if it delays a bit. These delays and poor are what made Upwork remove it as a payment method.
The first thing that you will need to do is to set up your Skrill account, making sure you add your card and bank account details in the relevant fields.
Google or ask your local bank for their SWIFT code which you will need to use in this setup.
Once you have added your bank account, you are ready to withdraw from your freelancing website.
After you make all verifications, you can also add your MPESA number in the “Mobile Wallets” section. Once you do this, you’ll be able to withdraw money from Skrill to MPESA and receive it within an hour.
The withdrawal process is straightforward. Just click on the “Withdraw” link on your preferred freelancing website and opt to withdraw using Payoneer.
Once the cash is sent to Payoneer, you can go to your Payoneer Account and process the withdrawal. There are two options for loading:
- Immediate Load: You can choose for Payoneer to always be loaded automatically by opting for “Immediate Load” which will cost you a certain amount per load, depending on the website you’re withdrawing from.
- Standard Load: You can also opt to load manually using the “Standard Load” option, which will cost less (or even free) per load, but it will take 2 days before the cash gets to your account.
Once you have the cash loaded, you can withdraw from any eligible outlet such as, Stanbic, and KCB.
Make sure you sign up as soon as you start your freelancing business so that you can take advantage of the many Payoneer benefits.
Additionally, Payoneer has a Global Payment Service. You can use it to get paid by clients from different international business bank accounts.
I saved the best for last:
You can withdraw from Payoneer straight to your bank account at no extra cost. And you get the cash at excellent rates. This takes up to one business day to process, though you can get it in a few hours.
PayPal is one of the most common withdrawal methods. In fact, some people assume that this is the only available method. They end up losing out on the benefits of the other methods outlined here.
When you select this method, you’ll receive the cash from your online freelancing account (or from your client) to your PayPal account.
You can then withdraw from PayPal to M-PESA and get the cash in a few minutes to 3 days, depending on the amount.
Alternatively, you can withdraw from PayPal to Equity Bank, which takes 1 working day.
This was not an option in most sites, but in early 2017, Upwork added M-Pesa as a withdrawal method.
Note that the Upwork to M-Pesa exchange rates are still not the best, thus other withdrawal options beat this.
But in case you want to receive your money faster, you can opt for MPESA and get your cash a few minutes after withdrawal. Sometimes it can take a couple of hours, though.
When withdrawing money from Upwork, you can also opt to withdraw from Upwork to PayPal to M-PESA to get a better rate.
5. Bank Transfer
Some sites such as Upwork and Fiverr allow you to receive your cash through bank transfer.
If you use this method, you’ll receive the cash straight in your Kenyan bank in hours or up to 3 business days. Sometimes less (even minutes). Many times you may get your money from Upwork to your bank account in a matter of hours.
When filling up the form to receive a bank transfer, you’ll get terms such as “SWIFT code” and “bank code”. Simply Google or talk to your bank (call or inbox them on social media) so that they give you these codes.
6. Wise (formerly TransferWise)
I’ve been testing out Wise (formerly TransferWise) for a while and it’s currently my favorite!
The issue here, though, is that you can’t use it to withdraw money from freelancing websites, yet.
It’s therefore a fantastic way to get money from direct clients. When they send you money via Wise, you receive it straight to M-PESA or your bank account.
The best news is you get the very best exchange rates. And you get the cash on the same day (business days). In fact, if your client is sending from Wise to your M-PESA, you can even get the cash instantly.
A client will need some details from you if you want them to pay you via Wise. This will depend on whether you want to receive the cash in your bank account or M-PESA.
The basic details you’ll give them include:
- Full name
- Email address
- Postal code
- Bank name and account number
- M-PESA mobile number (starting with 254)
Make sure the details you give them match those in your Wise account.
Great news for Kenyans: Clients can pay you from their Wise account straight to your M-Pesa even if you don’t have a Wise account. Simply give them your M-Pesa number (once again, starting with 254).
Times are changing, and cryptocurrency is becoming a thing. Consider asking your clients to pay you via cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin. You can then sell it via a Bitcoin marketplace.
My favorite marketplace is Paxful.
Why should you consider getting paid this way?
- You can sell the bitcoins at above-market rates in places like Paxful
- You avoid the crazy restrictions and limitations that may come with some of the other methods mentioned here
This way, you can control the amount you receive. And you don’t have to worry about someone locking up your cash for flimsy reasons.
Once you receive the bitcoins on your Paxful wallet, head over to “Sell Bitcoin” and look for a buyer with magnificent rates and possibly hundreds of great reviews.
Proceed with selling. Make sure you actually receive the payment (via M-PESA, bank, Chipper, or wherever else you prefer) before releasing the bitcoins.
Paxful protects the buyer by holding your bitcoins in escrow till you’re paid. So, they have nothing to worry about.
Since they know the bitcoins are safely being held by Paxful, it’s safe for them to pay you. Once (and only once) you receive the payment should you release the bitcoins to the buyer.
I’d recommend you try out this method. You’ll be amazed at the fantastic rates you can get. The process is also relatively fast.
Set them all up, then be choosing the one that suits your situation
As time goes, more methods keep coming up. It’s now so easy to access payments from online work websites or direct clients.
Make sure you check your favorite site’s relevant pages to see the fees levied on each of the above methods. My recommendation is you set them all up and use each depending on your preferences at the time.
For example, if you want cash from Upwork fast, you may opt for M-Pesa, but this will get you a lower rate. If your payment is huge, you can go for Upwork to PayPal to M-Pesa or direct bank transfer, which will be affordable and fetch you better rates.
If you’re just starting out and you’re receiving small amounts, e.g. $20, $50, $100, etc., you’d be safe with PayPal since PayPal to M-PESA/Equity has negligible charges.
Where Skrill in an option, it works as well. It has great rates, low fees and you can get the cash in a few minutes by withdrawing from Skrill to MPESA. The only challenge is that Skrill can be insanely unreliable.
Payoneer has been solid since I first used it back in 2011. And now that you can get cash from Payoneer to your bank at zero fees and wonderful rates, it’s definitely a catch.
Wise, formerly TransferWise, is fast becoming a favorite to many. It certainly is my best ever. If your client agrees to send you money using Wise, you’ve struck gold my friend!
And yes, if you’re one of those progressive people who want to try out bitcoins, then Paxful is the option for you.
Is there any other method that has come up? What do you like or dislike about the above methods? Let’s continue this conversation in the comments section.