The Cheapest Way to Send Money to Kenya

Send money to Kenya

Do you have any idea how much a money transfer to Kenya is going to cost you?

If you’re working with a freelancer or a team of workers in Kenya and want to transfer money, you have to be prepared for all the charges and fees that come with money transfers.

Time Doctor is a time management tool that attracts professionals from all parts of the world that work with remote teams. Many of these professionals are in need of a cost-efficient and practical international money transfer solution.

What transfer methods do we use at Time Doctor?

We have a remote team with people in 19 different countries around the world. The two transfer methods we use the most are:

  • Payoneer – very convenient for sending and receiving. They are also one of the few methods that works to receive money in almost every country and the receiver can get their money on a debit card and withdraw from an ATM. They also have an option for direct transfer to the receiver’s bank account. They also have a $50 bonus if you receive more than $100 through this method.
  • Transferwise – very low cost and also a convenient method for transfers to most countries.

The following tables include information about the cheapest methods to send money to Kenya if you’re located in the US, Canada, Australia or Europe.

Table 1: Sending $1000 from the US to Kenya
Transfer methodFees to send $1000 USDHidden currency conversion costTotal feesTime for the transfer to arrive
XE Trade$0$9$93-5 days
Ria Money Transfer (slow)$5$16$213-5 days
Payoneer$3$25$283-5 days
Ria Money Transfer (fast)$15$16$31In Minutes
Xpress Money$15$22$373-5 days
MoneyGram (slow)$5$33$384-6 days
Poapay$15$28$433-5 days
WorldRemit$14$30$441-3 days
Western Union (slow)$5$46$514-6 days
MoneyGram (fast)$20$33$53In Minutes
Wire transfer$25-40$10-20$35-603-5 days
Western Union (fast)$20$46$66In Minutes
Transfast$5$64$691-3 days
Skrill$50$19$693-5 days
Travelex$0$150$1503-5 days
NationHela$35$159$194In Minutes

Note:

  • Worldremit allows to send money transfer to selected countries from the following states of USA: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. Also District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
  • NationHela will only allow Debit/Credit Card Transfer if from the US. This method of transfer is subject to a limit of 500 USD per transaction. For sending 1000 USD, we calculated the fees for sending 500 USD and doubled it.
Table 2: Sending £1000 from the UK to Kenya
Transfer methodFees to send £1000 GBPHidden currency conversion costTotal feesTime for the transfer to arrive
XE Trade£0£11£113-5 days
Western Union (fast)£3£10£13In Minutes
EasyPesa£4£20£241-3 days
Equity Direct£4£20£241-3 days
WorldRemit£6£21£271-3 days
Exchange4free£0£29£291-2 days
SimbaPay£0£36£36In Minutes
Small World FS£3£35£381-3 days
MoneyGram (fast)£20£28£48In Minutes
Azimo£1£47£481-3 days
Xpress Money£30£22£523-5 days
Wire transfer£15-25£10-30£25-553-5 days
Afrikmostra£26£35£61In Minutes
Dahabshiil*£55£10£65In Minutes
Skrill£50£21£713-5 days
Travelex£0£74£743-5 days
Mukuru£22£75£97In Minutes
NationHela£5.5£116£121.51-3 days

Note:

  • Dahabshiil payout option is in USD. Recipient may convert his amount into KES through any agent which takes little more charges for currency exchange.
Table 3: Sending $1000 from the Canada to Kenya
Transfer methodFees to send $1000 CADHidden currency conversion costTotal feesTime for the transfer to arrive
XE Trade$0$11$113-5 days
Exchange4free$0$30$303-5 days
WorldRemit*$18$24$421-3 days
ZOOMPesa*$20$22$423-5 days
Xpress Money$16$28$443-5 days
Transfast$5$65$701-3 days
Skrill$50$24$743-5 days
Wire transfer$25-40$20-30$45-753-5 days
MoneyGram (fast)$50$26$76In Minutes
Western Union (fast)$40$43$83In Minutes
Travelex$0$145$1453-5 days

Note:

  • Worldremit can only send 995 CAD from Canada to Mexico.
  • Zoompesa has a Maximum Daily Limit of 906 CAD.
Table 4: Sending €1000 from the Western Europe to the Kenya
Transfer methodFees to send €1000 EURHidden currency conversion costTotal feesTime for the transfer to arrive
XE Trade€0€1€13-5 days
NationHela€6.6€1€7.61-3 days
Exchange4free€0€30€303-5 days
MoneyGram (fast)€10€23€33In Minutes
Azimo€1€34€351-3 days
Small World FS€0€51€513-5 days
Western Union€25€27€521-2 days
WorldRemit€22€30€521-3 days
Xpress Money€25€34€593-5 days
Skrill€50€20€703-5 days
Wire transfer€20-35€20-40€40-753-5 days
Table 5: Sending $1000 from the Australia to Kenya
Transfer methodFees to send $1000 AUDHidden currency conversion costTotal feesTime for the transfer to arrive
XE Trade$0$14$143-5 days
Mhits*$22$2$24In Minutes
Exchange4free$0$30$303-5 days
Worldremit$14$31$451-3 days
Xpress Money$25$21$463-5 days
Western Union (fast)$40$27$67In Minutes
MoneyGram (fast)$35$34$69In Minutes
Skrill$60$27$873-5 days
Wire transfer$25-35$30-60$55-953-5 days

Note:

  • Mhits transfers $500 at one single time. The calculation has been done for two times transfers which equals to $1000.

Leave a reply

  1. Nice article right there.
    Paypal and western union are the most common and convenient method of money transfer here in Kenya.

  2. Thank you for the information on money transfers to Kenya.

    Here in Kenya the methods i see most people using are Western Union, Money Gram, Paypal and Payoneer.

  3. Hi,
    I run a mining business out of Rwanda. I’ve been doing business with Dubai and Hong Kong but am expanding sales to the USA. The banking system there isn’t good so using a Kenyan bank such as KCB and then doing a inter-bank branch transfer is my plan. What is the best way to transfer very large sums of money ($1,000,000) from the USA to Kenya. Getting it there as close to within 24hrs is also quite important. I would be doing such transactions several times a month. Since margins in the mining sector aren’t very big, the percentage fees need to be low.

    Thanks,
    Dean

    1. Hi Dean, I’m not sure however I think you will have to check with every bank that does business in Kenya and if that doesn’t work then the other option is to develop a relationship with a company of a similar size that is sending money in the other direction, however that will be quite difficult to achieve and manage.

  4. Paypal is a good option but it has its own shortcoming, first you need to build some sort of credibility with them if you are not a US citizen, this means that if you open a new account, do everything they ask, there is still that amount of cash you can not transfer/receive, for instance about $300 and because they don’t use bank regulation and you are not subject to the USA regulation they usually get their way most of the time, lets be honest $300 is not a lot of money, that’s why i started looking for an alternative after having 3 account limited because of the amount of cash i have received.

  5. KenyaPesa allows you to send cash to Kenya via Mpesa, airtel money, bank transfers and cash pick up. The fees start at $3.99 and the first order is FREE.

  6. Hi Rob,

    I have read through the article and I have found it very informative but something to note as per now Skrill has a service that allows you to send money to an M-PESA mobile wallet in Kenya and the money is received instantly. This are the fees:
    -It costs 1% of the amount sent but is capped at a maximum of $ 10
    -Paying at a shop or transferring funds with any merchant is free
    -Receiving money is free of charge
    -Uploading funds into your Skrill account is usually free, but some options involve a small charge.

    They have a currency conversion fee of 3.99% FX fee if you’re sending from GBP, Euro, US Dollar, Canadian Dollar or Polish Zloty. If you’re sending from any other currency the rate is 4.99%.

    Check it out it is efficient.

    Regards,

    Wilson.

    1. We added Skrill but it seems like it is one of the most expensive options. I think it would be comparing it with the convenience of being able to deposit straight into M-PESA

  7. The cheapest way to send money to kenya is via Skrill, this is because Skrill is the only money transfer platform connected to Mpesa which is the most wide spread money transfer system in Kenya, transfering money from this platforms takes a few minutes and almost instantanious to Mpesa.

    1. Hi George, will definitely add it to the article however I think that doesn’t make it the cheapest. It makes it the most convenient. Skrill charges 4-5% on currency conversion which is a lot more than some of the other methods.

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