It’s easier now, more than ever, to send and receive money from Kenya through various platforms like Western Union, M-Pesa and equity direct. This article is dedicated to educating you on the most efficient ways to send money to Kenya from UK. Most of the diaspora money transfers use the following strategies to send and receive money across continents.
Cash to Cash
Send money from anywhere in the US and your receiver can pick it up at more than 1,560 agent locations in Kenya.
Account-Based Money Transfers (ABMT)
Transfer money online to a Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) bank account.
Cash to Mobile
Get money directly in a Safaricom M-PESA account.
How can I send money to Kenya via M-Pesa or Western Union?
Kenyan citizens can receive money from more than 45 countries across the world using M-Pesa. Using the M-Pesa international money transfer program; you can easily receive and send money to several countries using your M-Pesa line.
This is a program that has been there since 2011 but many people seem not to know of its existence. M-PESA International Money Transfer is one of the easiest and quickest money transfer programs you can get today.
It takes a very short time for money sent to a recipient to get to them. Ideally, it takes a duration of less than 5 minutes which is the equivalent of sending an SMS.
There has been a partnership between Western Union and Safaricom that resulted in the global expansion of their international mobile money transfer service. The service was previously offered by Western Union and Safaricom between the UK and Kenya via 12,000 Western Union Agent locations and westernunion.co.uk.
The service allows people to send funds from more than 80,000 Western Union Agent locations in 45 countries and territories directly to Safaricom M-PESA subscribers in Kenya.
How does it work?
Anyone within the 45 participating countries can visit a Western Union Agent location and send money to an M-PESA mobile phone in Kenya.
The transaction is similar to a traditional cash-to-cash money transfer, except the sender specifies the recipient’s mobile phone number at the time the funds are sent. Recipients in Kenya must subscribe to the M-PESA service through Safaricom to access the Money.
Is it safe to send money to Kenya via M-PESA?
Money that’s transferred to family or friends in Kenya via M-PESA is stored safely in a ring-fenced account, also known as a trust account.
This account is linked to the mobile phone of each customer. A central platform also securely tracks the value of an individual’s account.
That means the money will still be in their M-PESA account even if the phone or SIM card is lost.
Does the sender have to have a mobile phone?
The sender must not have a mobile phone, but he or she will need to provide a contact number in case of an issue with the transaction. The sender will also be given a paper receipt from the Western Union Agent once the money is sent.
If the sender provides a valid mobile phone number, Western Union will send them a text message to whom the funds have been sent. This service is offered by Western Union in partnership with Safaricom.
What are the benefits of Western Union-M-PESA transfer?
Sending money to Kenya via M-PESA is a low-cost, fast and safe way to pay, transfer, receive and store money. M-PESA works digitally and in real time. This means your friends or family members living, working or traveling in Kenya will receive the money quicker than a traditional bank transfer.
Every transaction is also protected and signed with a PIN. There are also no service charges on an M-PESA account. Instead, the user pays on a pay-as-you-go basis every time they perform a transaction.
There’s also no minimum amount that can be held in an M-PESA account. So it remains open even when it’s empty.
Equity bank has partnered with major financial institutions such as VFX financial PLC from UK and FNB from South Africa. This makes it easy for its customers to remit money from abroad to Kenya.
since its launch, equity Direct has had an impact on the Diaspora customers who use it to transfer money from abroad. The platform utilizes two main avenues including Paypal and equity Direct which can be both used to send money to Kenya from UK.
About Equity Direct
This service was launched in September 2013. It is offered exclusively by Equity bank in partnership with VFX financial PLC from UK. Previously, UK was the only country sending money in the country but the service has spread to most countries in Europe.
With this service, Kenyans in the UK and Europe can send money to any Equity Bank account in Kenya. This service can also be used to send money to individuals, churches, NGOs and other businesses.
The recipient of the money can receive the money in the same foreign currencies. GBP, EUR, USD or Kenya shillings can be sent in their accounts or mobile wallets.