As a freelancer, one of the most essential tools that you’re going to need to build your career and prosper is a PayPal account. In case you did not know, let me start by mentioning that PayPal account registration is free and very simple to get around contrary to popular opinion. However, one wrong move might make it more difficult for you to make full use of your account. I thought it was a good idea to have a step by step tutorial showing everyone how to open a PayPal account in Kenya the right way.
What is PayPal and What is it used for?
PayPal is a payment platform that allows you to securely receive and send money by using other people’s email addresses as an account number. There are other options that are available that you can also use like Skrill, Neteller and Payza among others but, PayPal enjoys a lot of monotony and above all, most clients prefer to use it because of the different security features that it has to offer.
Why should you open a PayPal Account?
With quite a number of different options that are available in the market, why should you choose to sign up for PayPal to send and receive your money? There are quite a number of reasons;
PayPal has among the best security features compared to other online money transfer options. It has also bolstered this by offering a very responsive customer care support. We all know how sensitive money issues are and should anything go wrong, you want to be able to get in touch with someone that can help as soon as possible.
The one feature I like about PayPal is the ability to hold a transaction. Say you sent someone money and they did not deliver. PayPal offers you the option of holding the funds. They will then investigate and if the goods or services were delivered, they will send the money. If not, the money will be refunded to you. It is a feature that has proven to be a life saver for me on more than one occasion.
The online world is filled with interesting things and sometimes, you need a break from all the learning and just be able to get into your PayPal account and check your balance or send invoices to your clients. The simplicity of the user interface is one of a kind for such a delicate platform. They show you how much you have received, from who and the percentage that they have charged you.
To send money, you only need the email address of the person who you are sending money and the amount you need to send to them. It is also worth noting that sending money with PayPal is free but the recipient must also have a PayPal account. In case they don’t have a PayPal account and you have sent the money, all they need to do is open an account using the email address that you have used to send the money and claim the funds and they will receive it.
Easy to withdraw
Once you have received money in your PayPal account, withdrawing the same and converting it into Kenyan currency is pretty simple. PayPal has a standing partnership with Equity Bank Kenya that allows you to withdraw your money for a very small fee in just three days. It is a safe and secure platform and one that I have used for many years without any problems.
Send payment requests
If you pick the right PayPal account option when registering, you will have access to features that allow you to send payment requests to your clients among other features. Being able to send invoices to your clients will allow you to cut across as professional and your clients will not think you’re nagging.
How to open a PayPal Account
What you will need
Before we go any further, you will need to have just two items before you can open a PayPal account. You will need a working and currently active email address (it can be Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail or from any other provider).
You will also need to have an active debit or credit Visa or Master Card. This can be an ATM card from a local bank like Equity or Co-operative Bank or even a Nakumatt Global Card. I personally prefer to go with an Equity ATM since this will also make the process of withdrawing your money much easier as you will see. Once you have everything in order, it is time to register for a PayPal account in Kenya.
Step 1: Go to the PayPal website
First you will need to go to the PayPal website. From here, you will select the sign up option to start setting up your PayPal account.
Step 2: Choose your type of account
Once you have decided to sign up, on the next page, you will be required to choose between a Personal and Business Account. A personal account is more limited and will only allow you to buy goods and services around the world without sharing your financial information.
A business account on the other hand is more robust. It allows you to send and accept payments, send invoices to your customers and clients and it also comes with better security features. Regardless of the type of account you choose, your PayPal account will still be free so I would suggest you go for the business account. Once you pick your preferred type of account, click on continue.
Step3: Add you email address
After clicking on ‘Continue’ the next window will require you to enter the email address that you would like to be associated with your PayPal account. Keep in mind that the email address will have to be verified by PayPal so you have to have open one prior to your PayPal account registration.
Step 4: Enter your personal information
In this step on how to open a PayPal account in Kenya, PayPal will require you to come up with a password first and then re-enter it just to be sure that you can remember the password. Remember that this account will be holding your money so it is important that you think of a password that you can remember easily but one that other people can’t easily figure out.
As a quick heads up, to ensure safety, PayPal customer support might ask you at a point in time to verify your account by sending them proof of the details you used to open the account. Failure to this, your account might be closed down or limited. It is therefore essential that when planning to register for a PayPal account you use the names on official documents like your identification card (ID).
In this window, enter your First and Last Legal names as they appear on your Identification and the name of your business (this can be one or two of your names in case you don’t have a business name yet).
You will also need to enter the physical address for your business. This is what we call here in kenya P.O Box. You don’t need to fill in both address lines just one is okay. If you don’t have a P.O Box of your own, you can check that of a school or church near you and use that instead. When checking, be sure to check the postal code because you will need it as well (it usually appears after the postal address and is a five-digit number).
You will then enter your city or town followed by the province and region and then the postal code. You will then be asked what your primary currency is. Regardless of the currency clients send you, your account will be able to receive. However, it is usually better to select the US Dollar since this is what most clients use to pay.
Step 5: Share more details about your business
If you opted to go the way of opening a business account, the next step will require you to share a bit of details about your business. If the business is not registered and the account will only be used by you, you can choose to list it as “INDIVIDUAL.”
Still under business information, the next page will require you to share even more details from drop down menus. This is to ensure that your business is captured correctly and that you’re able to escape trouble in the future. Take your time to fill out each of the requirements comprehensively. As for the business URL, you will only need to add the link if you have one. If not, you can proceed by leaving the space blank.
Step 6: Account Holder’s Information
In this step on how to open a PayPal account in Kenya, you will need to add your own details. It is very important that you ensure that the details that are entered at this stage are very correct since PayPal could ask for proof in the future. Once you have entered all the information and verified that it is correct, you can click on the ‘Continue’ tab.
With that, you have completed the process on how to open a PayPal account in Kenya. You can now receive and send money using PayPal and make the most out of it. With the business account, PayPal offers you other tools that you can use to link your business with your PayPal account. This is especially essential for people that have a website, a blog or a portfolio and would like to receive money in a more professional manner. But if you’re just starting, handing your email to your clients when it’s time for payment should be more than enough.
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