Kenyan Businesses Going Online with Payment Aggregators

Just 8 years ago in Kenya, online businesses had to contend with international payment and money transfer services such as Paypal that offered little or no option of withdrawing money locally. Today, the invent of mobile money has businesses using the mobile payment to transact online via payment gateways.

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) estimates that by June of last year, there were 17.3 million mobile money subscribers transferring Kshs 48 billion between March- June 2011.
And while mobile payment is primary choice for service providers, integrating with a payment gateway means being able to access global credit and debit card payment services as well.

The gateways have eliminated traditional paper methods such as cheques and offer a reliable way to process electronic transactions for application service providers.

More start-ups in Kenya are thus offering competitive integration and aggregation of payment options for local businesses. The most known ones being:Pesapal
Pesapal is a payment gateway in Kenya supporting over 9 payment methods including mobile transfer services, credit cards and ATMs. Their services extend to the greater East Africa region. They support MTN Uganda’s mobile money and Vodacom Tanzania’s cash service. Pesapal deducts Kshs 15 ($ 0.25) for every purchase made in a transaction via the gateway.Kopo Kopo
Kopo Kopo is a subscription based Software As A Service (SAAS) mobile payment service. It allows small businesses to aggregate their mobile money accounts to one location and save on the costs for subscribing to costly corporate mobile money solutions. Initially incorporated in the United States (US), Kopo Kopo has offices in Nairobi, Kenya to serve the East Africa region. Customers have the option of subscribing to four feature packages that range from Kshs 2,500 ($ 30) to Kshs 25, 000 ($ 295) including a free starter account. MobiPay
Launched by the Kenya Data Networks in 2010, Mobipay is an Internet payment gateway that acts a wallet where users can deposit their money via ATM, credit card and mobile money (Mpesa, Yu Cash). MobiPay charges 0.20 Euros for money transfers made on their website. 0.20 Euros plus 6% of the transfer amounts is charged for transactions from MobiPay agents. A withdrawal fee of 2% of the amount being withdrawn an agent, merchant, or ATM.E-Pay
E-pay, with its headquarters in Coppell, Texas, has partnered with international online payment and money transfer services Skrill (Monebookers), Paypal and M-Pesa. There are no service charges for account opening, sending or receiving money. A deposit fund fee of between 5.00% plus $0.00 and 16.00% plus $0.00 per transaction is chargeable depending on the payment method used. Withdrawals are charged at 3.00% per transaction with a 25% fee for bank wire transfers.

iPay is a global mobile and internet payment solution that also connects to banks in Kenya via the Kenswitch, a financial switching network. It serves e-payment, credit card networks, and mobile and banking transactions. iPay also has a re-seller and referral program for its payment solutions.
3G Direct Pay
3G Direct Pay started their operations in 2006. They are among the first payment gateways to offer payment solutions in Kenya and East Africa. The gateway supports VISA, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, PayPal and mobile money-M-pesa and Airtel Money. 3G Direct Pay has close to 70 corporate integrations in the country.
Not limited to these, more payment aggregators and gateways within the Kenyan market include Mpayer, PesaPay and Hela.

With all 4 mobile operators in the country, Safaricom (M-Pesa), Airtel (Airtel Money), YU (Yu Cash) and Orange (Orange Money), operating a money transfer service each, the payment industry is a huge growth avenue for start-ups.
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