How to Send Money to Kenya Cheaply

Kenya

Learn how to send money to friends and family living in Kenya.

Due to the exotic status of the Kenyan currency, there are very limited options when sending money overseas to Kenya. Many Canadian banks do not allow transfers to Kenyan bank accounts. Using money transfer companies like WorldRemit, Western Union or MoneyGram may offer you more options. These companies let you send money to Kenya in just minutes, often with more competitive exchange rates and lower fees than many banks.

Comparison of services which allow you to send money overseas to Kenya

Some Canadian banks don’t offer electronic fund transfers to Kenyan bank accounts, so check with your financial institution first. The table below shows alternative services you can use to send money overseas to Kenya. Sort through products using the table headings. To read more about a product, click “More info”, or click “Go to site” if you would like to register and open an account.

Rates last updated February 22nd, 2018
Name Product Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description
TorFX International Money Transfers
USD 150
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.

Send money overseas in 45 currencies.
Exclusive: World First International Money Transfers
USD 1,000
1 day
Online, Phone
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee and discounted exchange rates for your first trade only.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in more than 130 currencies.
TransferWise International Money Transfers
$5
1 - 2 days
Online
Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts.
FC Exchange International Money Transfers
FC Exchange International Money Transfers
GBP 1,000
1 day
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
FC Exchange can save you money with its Best Exchange Rate Guarantee. Conditions apply.

No transfer fee when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. Send money in 43 currencies.
HiFX International Money Transfers
$50
2 days
Online, Phone, Agent
Make your first transfer for free

Send money in more than 40 currencies.
The ‘Rate’ and ‘Amount Received’ displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

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Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options. Our foreign exchange experts offer a best rate guarantee, are ASIC authorised and never charge transfer fees.

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Banks vs money transfer companies

Abasi wanted to send money regularly to his family in Nairobi. He found a Canadian bank that allows transfers to Kenya and compared that bank’s service with a popular money transfer company. After comparing the two, Abasi discovered that his family would save 6,694.92 Kenyan Shillings plus $15 in fees if he sent the money via bank transfer, for pick up using the money service provider.

BankMoney Transfer Service
Exchange rate$1 CAD = 73.10 KES$1 CAD = 80.59 KES
Transfer feeCAD25CAD10 (Bank transfer)

CAD25 (Cash pickup)

Amount received for CAD1000 (in Kenyan Shillings)73,100.00 KES79,794.92 KES
Transfer time3-5 business daysMinutes
Transfer optionsBank to bank transferBank to bank transfer or cash pickup
Difference of+ 6,694.92 KES received

How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Kenya

If you want to send money to Kenya, consider the following factors once you get your quote for the money transfer:

  • The exchange rate. The exchange rate is an important comparison between international money transfer providers and refers to how many Kenyan Shillings you will get for every Canadian dollar. Ask for a quote before you compare exchange rates, so you can be sure you are comparing the right rates and not the advertised ones only.
  • Transfer fees. Providers will charge a fee for your money transfer to Kenya. Fees vary depending on the method you choose to use to transfer the funds and how much you send. For example, cash transfers are priced differently from mobile payments. Some companies will charge no fees if you send a large amount of money at one time, which is generally for amounts around $10,000 and higher.
  • Collection methods. Companies will offer different options for receiving the funds, including cash pickups and direct deposit into a bank account. Some companies like Western Union offer bank transfers, cash collection and mobile payments, while other institutions will only allow a bank-to-bank transfer.
  • Transfer methods. Most transfers are handled online these days, however you can still send cash in person by visiting a branch. Western Union have the largest network of businesses who act as agents and representatives of their services, meaning you can get cash in most countries around the world.
  • Transfer options. Every company will offer different transfer options including regular payments and one time transfers, among other options.
  • Minimum transfer amounts. Some money transfer companies have minimum amounts that you are allowed to send, while others have no minimum. If you send under a certain amount of money, fees tend to be higher.
  • Customer service. Ensure that you can contact customer service online, by phone, or via web chat and make sure the hours suit your schedule. Many companies offer 24/7 support, while others may not be available to help you all of the time. Some companies pride themselves on their achievements with customer service and their willingness to go the extra mile for their customers.

How to send money to Kenya from Canada

The choice of banks that let you send money to Kenya from Canada is limited. Check with your financial institution to see whether it offers money transfers to a Kenyan bank account. You can also consider these options:

  • WorldRemit. WorldRemit is a specialty money transfer company. Much like Western Union and Moneygram, WorldRemit charges fees when you send money to Kenya, however the first transfer is free. There are good reviews for customer service and there’s an easy-to-use smartphone application, which makes sending money to Kenya a breeze. With WorldRemit, you can send money directly to a bank account for cash pickup or even send mobile money transfers.
  • Western Union. You can send money directly to a bank account for cash pickup, or even pay someone using a mobile phone number with Western Union. There is a fee for this service, but unlike bank-to-bank transfers, the money can be ready in minutes.
  • MoneyGram. MoneyGram operates in a fashion similar to Western Union. The main difference with these two companies in Kenya is that Western Union has a larger number of cash collection points. In Canada, MoneyGram and Canada Post have a partnership, making it a useful option.

Emergency cash transfers to Kenya

In the event of an emergency, it’s possible to get cash to Kenya in a matter of minutes. Companies like WorldRemit and Western Union allow you to send money to Kenya almost instantly. Here are a couple of options if you need emergency access to cash in Kenya:

  • An emergency cash advance. Visa, Mastercard and American Express will give you an emergency cash advance if your cards are lost or stolen and you are unable to access the funds in your account. Give your bank and the card issuers a call and you can find out whether there’s a merchant close to your location where you can collect the funds.
  • Money transfer service with cash pickup. International money transfer services like Western Union, MoneyGram and WorldRemit let you transfer to merchants, cash collection agencies and banks in a matter of minutes. You can send the money to Kenya from the particular company’s website and it’s safe, easy and quick.

Cash pickup locations in Kenya

There are over a thousand different Western Union cash collection outlets where you can pick up money in Kenya.

Be aware that the size of the transfer, differences in time zones and other transaction specific conditions will determine where the cash can be collected. For example, a foreign exchange bureau may be the only place that has enough money to honour your transaction if you send a large amount.

Phone numbers for the companies and branches where cash can be collected are listed on the MoneyGram and Western Union websites. It may be a good idea to give the business a call before you go in to make sure your funds are available.

WorldRemit

  • All Time Capital, Mombasa Branch.

    City Grosser Building,

    1st Floor, Opposite Blueroom Restaurant,

    Haile Selassie Road,

    off Digo Road, Nairobi.

    +254-020-8000171/2,254-722-575050

    Open Monday to Friday 8am – 4:30pm.

    Saturday 9.30am – 12:30pm.

    Sunday – Closed.

  • All Time Capital, Nairobi Branch.

    Cellcare Electronics Ltd,

    St Ellis Building, Ground Floor,

    Mama Ngina Street.

    +254-020-8000171/2,254-722-575050

    Open Monday to Friday 9am – 4:30pm.

    Saturday – 9am to 12:30pm.

Western Union

  • ABC, Westland Branch.

    ABC House, Westlands,

    Nairobi.

    +057-020-2023692

    Monday to Friday 8am – 7pm.

    Saturday 9.30am – 1 pm.

    Sunday – Closed.

  • Amana Forex Bureau.

    Amana Shopping Centre, Nairobi.

    +254-020-225617

    Open Monday to Thursday 8.30am – 6pm.

    Friday – 8.30am to 9.30pm.

    Saturday and Sunday – 8.30am to 6pm.

MoneyGram

  • National Bank of Kenya.

    Ongata Rongi Kiserian Road,

    Nairobi.

    +254202528359

    Open Monday to Friday 8am – 4.30pm.

    Saturday 8am – 2pm.

    Sunday – Closed.

  • Kenya Post Office, Makueni Branch.

    Koli Building, Makeni,

    Nairobi.

    +25404433371

    Open Monday to Friday 8.30am – 4pm.

    Saturday 8.30am – 1pm.

    Sunday – Closed.

Tips for collecting cash in Kenya

Canadians travelling to Kenya need to pay attention to their personal security. Westerners have been victims of kidnapping and robbery in Kenya, especially in the capital city of Nairobi.

The Canadian Government advises that you should exercise a high degree of caution when visiting Kenya. Those who plan to visit the Nairobi and Mombasa regions, including Diani Beach, Lamu County and parts of Tana River County should reconsider their need to travel to these areas, or be highly cautious if it’s unavoidable.

If you’re going to collect a large amount of cash and are concerned for your safety, it’s a good idea to give the transfer agency a call first to discuss whether security precautions are necessary. Take a registered taxi to and from the cash collection point and travel with a friend so that you’re not alone. Have your hotel help you and immediately put the cash into a safety deposit box.

Methods of sending money to Kenya

The process for transferring money to Kenya will vary depending on the method you use.

  • Bank transfers.

    If you want to send the money to a bank account in Kenya from your bank account in Canada, you’ll need the recipient’s bank account details as well as their bank’s routing information, as transit, branch and account number.

  • Cash collection.

    If you want to send cash for your recipient to collect, you’ll need to provide their full name and possibly other details like their phone number and address. Once you send the transaction, you’ll need to provide them with the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN), which they will need to show to receive the money.

  • To a mobile phone.

    Money transfer companies like Western Union also let you send money to your recipient’s mobile phone in Kenya. The recipient must have an activated Safaricom M-PESA Mobile Wallet. You will need their Safaricom mobile phone number and their full name to complete a transfer this way.

Before you can send money to Kenya using a service like WorldRemit, you will need to create an account. You’ll be required to provide the following details about yourself:

  • Full name.
  • Email address.
  • Residential address.
  • You may also be asked to verify your identity by inputting your driver’s licence.

If you want to send money to friends, family or business partners in Kenya, a specialist money transfer company gives you a few different ways to send your funds overseas. Compare these companies based on their exchange rates, fees and options offered for transferring funds. If you have any questions about how to send money to Kenya, get in touch with us using the form below.

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18 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JoyceJune 28, 2016

    Am in oman and i want to sendd money to kenya. Which is the cheapest service to use. Can i also send money direct to my savings account in kenya? Thank you

    • Staff
      ClarizzaJune 28, 2016Staff

      Hi Joyce,

      Thank you for your question.

      We are an Australian comparison site. As such, we provide general advice only. The information on this page relates to transferring money from Australia to Kenya, however some of the international money transfer companies operate internationally so you may be able to transfer money to Kenya from Oman. It’s best to check with the company directly. Regarding cash transfers direct to your account, that will depend on the company you choose as there are different transfer options offered per company and sometimes, per country.

      Hope this helps.

      Clarizza

  2. Default Gravatar
    jojoJune 20, 2016

    Hw does one send money from India to Kenya? Are there any kind of restrictions? How long does it take?

    • Staff
      ClarizzaJune 20, 2016Staff

      Hi Jojo,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      We are an Australian comparison website, as such, we provide general advice on this topic based on sending money from Australia. With regards to sending money from India to Kenya, this page shows a number of international money transfer companies. It may be worthwhile taking a look at which of these companies also operate out of India and allow you to send money to Kenya.

      Generally, these services are available internationally and the method of payment will depend on what the company offers that service.

      Hope this helps.

      Clarizza

  3. Default Gravatar
    TamarJune 3, 2016

    someone from gorgia want to send for me money and am in kenya how can I can I get the money through my phone?

  4. Default Gravatar
    JackMay 10, 2016

    hi? my friend in America says he sent me money to my account, in a kenyan bank. the money has not yet reflected, is it possible that someone can sent you money directly to your account, by, having your account number as the only details of the receiver?

    • Staff
      ShirleyMay 11, 2016Staff

      Hi Jack,

      Thanks for your question.

      If it is a bank-to-bank transfer, your sender would need the SWIFT number of your bank as well as the BSB and account number.

  5. Default Gravatar
    EmmaMarch 11, 2016

    I wanted to ask how does one deposit money to a personal bank account in Kenya that is Kenya commercial bank how can I go about it am in the US any help

    • Staff
      ShirleyMarch 14, 2016Staff

      Hi Emma,

      Thanks for your question.

      You’ll need to use one of the larger, global brands to assist with your money transfer: WorldRemit, Western Union or Moneygram. In some cases you may need to pick up the cash and deposit it in person.

  6. Default Gravatar
    aaliyahFebruary 16, 2016

    I HAVE A FRIEND IN INDIA AND HE HAD SENT ME MONEY IN MY FRIEND’S ACCOUNT NUMBER BECAUSE AS OF ME I DON’T HAVE A BANK ACCOUNT YET.SO HE SENT THE MONEY ON FEBRUARY 12TH AT AROUND 11AM AND TOLD ME TO CHECK IF HAVE RECEIVED THE MONEY AFTER 3HOURS BUT WHEN I CHECKED AFTER THAT PERIOD I DID NOT GET THE MONEY.WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE PROBLEM?AM IN KENYA

    • Staff
      ShirleyFebruary 17, 2016Staff

      Hi Aaliyah,

      Thanks for your question.

      The international money transfer may not have been processed, or the wrong details have been provided.

      Please get in touch with an agent from the international money transfer service you used to troubleshoot the problem.

      All the best.

  7. Default Gravatar
    ApostleJanuary 24, 2016

    My friend from Australia told me he put the money into my Kenya commercial bank account yesterday 23rd/01/2016. He went on saying the money will be transfered to my account on monday because the International transfer doesn’t work on weekend. Help me to understand this statement please!

    • Staff
      ShirleyJanuary 25, 2016Staff

      Hi Apostle,

      Thanks for your question.

      The weekends in Australia are not considered as business days, which means all bank transactions aren’t processed on these days.

      This is why the money will be processed on Monday, which is the next day after the weekend.

      Hope this clears it up.

  8. Default Gravatar
    EnockDecember 27, 2015

    can i save money(deposit)to my kenya account from U.S.A

    • Staff
      ShirleyDecember 29, 2015Staff

      Hi Enock,

      Thanks for your question.

      This is possible – you can choose to do a bank transfer or send it through an international money transfer service. An international money transfer may be the cheaper option – Moneygram, Western Union and Worldremit may be able to facilitate this.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  9. Default Gravatar
    kenyaJune 12, 2015

    Can i deposit money in nri account m9ney from india in indian rupees

    • Staff
      BelindaJune 15, 2015Staff

      Dear Kenya,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      I’ve sent you an email regarding this transfer.

      Thanks,
      Belinda

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