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Freelance, Online Workers Risk Losing Cash as PayPal Blocks Access to Kenyan Users –


A number of Kenyans using PayPal have reported issues with the online cash transfer system. The users said their funds were being held by PayPal while some had lost their accounts entirely.

The American online payments website is popular with a number of Kenyans, especially freelancers and those working online.

Read: How To Transfer Money Between Your PayPal And M-Pesa Accounts

The user above got a response from Safaricom advising him to check with PayPal as the transaction had been completed from their end. However, the user later reported that his account had been closed without notice.

Another user shared the same frustrations, saying he was unable to send, withdraw or transact on the platform as his account too had been closed.

Read also: PayPal Users Report Account Limitations Ahead of Security Changes

Others quipped in, saying it’s an identity issue, while others reported that PayPal had flagged Kenya as a high risk area in terms of fraud.

“It’s mostly an identity issue. On PayPal as soon as I receive $3000 per day, my transaction is flagged. PayPal would never let me use their service with Kenyan ID only. In Kenya, Mpesa lets me move $3000 per day with my national ID only,” one user said

“PayPal is grappling with fraudulent merchants more so in kenya,” another user quipped.

Read also: Blow To Academic Writers As Paypal Suspends Payments By Essay-writing Firms

“Paypal in Kenya has became unusable coz we have been flagged as a high risk region” yet another user said.

In Kenya, Equity Bank is the only bank that links to PayPal. Safaricom also supports transactions across Mpesa and PayPal to make it easier for users to deposit and withdraw cash.

Most of the affected users are freelance and online workers who do research, online writing, virtual assistant jobs and transcription. The online jobs have created alternative employment for thousands of youth across the country.

Ajira, a digital program under the Ministry of ICT, said  that most online work is done by people in developing countries in Asia and Africa. Research showed that by 2017, 40,000 Kenyans were registered on Upwork, a leading freelance platform.

Normally, freelancers sign up on the platforms where a number of people post assignments. The users compete for these assignments and the one who gets it is paid through PayPal upon completion.



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