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Send money to Kenya

Send money to Kenya using an international money transfer service and you could beat the bank's rates.

Do you want to send money to friends or family in Kenya? There are lots of companies and banks that offer money transfers to Kenya, and by comparing exchange rates and fees, you can find the best deal for your next transfer.

Send money to Kenya with WorldRemit

WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.

  • No minimum transfer amount
  • Large range of destinations
  • Competitive exchange rate
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Comparison of services that allow you to send money overseas to Kenya

The table below shows the different services you can use to send money overseas to Kenya. You can sort products using the table headings, and if you’d like to read more about a product, you can click “More”. If you’d like to register and open an account, click “Go to Site”.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 60 1 day ZAR 0.00 7.445 KES
37,223
Skrill offers easy transfers to many popular destinations, but keep an eye out for added fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour ZAR 250.00 7.436 KES
35,320
Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer with no fee. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Banks vs money transfer companies

Although banks are quite capable of sending money to Kenya, you’ll face high exchange rates and multiple fees to get your money into the hands of the person who needs it. If you need a quick option, banks also fall short — it could take up to a week, while money transfer companies may be able to exchange your money in a few hours.

Specialist money transfer companies are the best place to start. These companies offer fast, secure and much more affordable transfers to Kenya. The fees are usually lower than what you’d find at a bank, exchange rates are higher and the transactions can be handled from the comfort of your own home. This gives money transfer companies a competitive edge over banks, so consider one when you’re in need of a money transfer to Kenya.

Abasi Sends Money to Kenya

Abasi wanted to send money regularly to his family in Nairobi. He found a bank that allows transfers to Kenya but felt the fees were too high. Instead, he compared the deals from two money transfer companies.

Money Transfer Service 1Money Transfer Service 2
Exchange rate1 ZAR = 7.40 KES1 ZAR = 6.99 KES
Transfer feeR22R40 (cash pickup)
Amount received in KES for 1,000 ZAR7,400 KES6,990 KES
Transfer timeThree to five business daysTen minutes
Transfer optionsBank-to-bank transferBank-to-bank transfer, mobile payments, cash pickup
Difference of+410 KES

Abasi found that he could save R18 by using the first money transfer company and send an extra 410 KES to his family.

How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Kenya

If you want to send money to Kenya, make sure you have a look at the following information when you get your quote on the funds transfer.

  • The exchange rate. This is the amount of Kenyan shillings you get in exchange for each South African rand you send to Kenya. You can check the rate when you get your quote on the funds transfer.
  • Transfer fees. Each provider will charge a fee for your money transfer to Kenya. Fees vary depending on how you want to send the funds. For example, cash transfers are priced differently compared to mobile payments. Like the exchange rate, you’re advised of any fees when you get the quote for the transfer.
  • Collection methods. Different companies offer different options for receiving the funds. 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. How can you send the funds? Most transfers are handled online but you can still send cash in person by visiting an outlet. Western Union has the largest network of businesses that act as agents and representatives of Western Union and their services.
  • Transfer options. Do you need to make a regular payment, or do you only need to make a one-off funds transfer?
  • Minimum transfer amounts. How much do you need to send? While the upper limit is generally of no concern to most people, if you’re looking to carry out a small transaction, you should compare money transfer companies based on the minimum transaction allowed. Some companies have no minimum transfer amount, but they charge a fee if you’re sending under a certain amount.
  • Customer service. Is speaking to someone to help you through the process something that’s important to you? Some companies pride themselves on their achievements with customer service and their willingness to go the extra mile for their customers. Consider this when comparing money transfer companies.

How to send money to Kenya from South Africa

  • Bank transfers. A transfer from your bank account to a Kenyan bank account is a secure option but will typically cost you more.
  • Online money transfer providers. Send money all around the world and enjoy cost-effective transfers when you use a specialist online transfer company.
  • Money transfer companies with cash pickup options. MoneyGram and Western Union all offer this convenient service.

Emergency cash transfers to Kenya

In the event of an emergency, it’s possible to get cash to Kenya in a matter of minutes. Some companies let you send money to Kenya almost instantly but you’ll have to pay extra for the privilege of a rapid transfer. International money transfer services like Western Union, WorldRemit and MoneyGram let you transfer to merchants, cash collection agencies and banks in a matter of minutes. You can send the money to Kenya from the company’s website. It’s safe, easy and quick. Higher fees and lower exchange rates may apply, so check the fine print to determine the total cost of your transfer first.

Cash pickup locations in Kenya

There are over a thousand different Western Union cash collection outlets where you can send money to 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 from. For example, a foreign exchange bureau may be the only place that has enough money to honour your transaction.

The numbers for the merchants 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 you will be able to get the cash when you come in. They may also be able to advise you if there are any security protocols that need to be observed.

Tips for collecting cash in Kenya

You should take care whenever you pick up cash from a transfer agent. This means staying aware of your personal safety at all times and taking a few steps to prevent yourself from becoming a target for thieves.

  • Call ahead. Learn the company’s business hours and choose a safe time to pick up your cash. Daylight hours are best.
  • Bring a friend. Carrying money when alone can be dangerous. Ask a friend to come along.
  • Deposit your money immediately. The likelihood of losing your money to theft or simple carelessness grows the longer you have it with you. Go straight to a bank and deposit your cash as soon as possible.
  • Keep your cash hidden. Place your money in your purse or wallet before leaving the office. Carrying cash out in the open could make you a target.
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How to send money to Kenya

The process for sending money to Kenya is a little different 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 South Africa, you’ll need the recipient’s bank account details and details of their banking institution, such as the SWIFT code or IBN. International fund transfers from your bank account are done through your online banking facility.

  • Cash collection

    If you want to send cash for the person to collect, you just need to provide their full name. They will need the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN), which is provided to you once the transaction is confirmed.

  • To a mobile phone

    Money transfer companies like Western Union also let you send money to a person’s mobile phone in Kenya. The recipient must have an activated Safaricom M-PESA Mobile Wallet. You need their Safaricom mobile phone number and the receiver’s 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 will need to provide the following details about yourself:

  • Full name.
  • Email address.
  • Residential address.
  • ID, such as a driver’s licence

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