We did a comparison last year , on the different money transfer services and their costs. Although it has been only a couple of month since that comparison, there are many more options in the market and some of those we looked at are already out of the market.
We compared the different options and looked at how much it would cost us to send €500 Euro to a recipient in Kenya. We didn’t look at the speed, considering that is practically uniform across the board. MPesa transfers are available immediately after the transfer while cash pickups are available an hour after and bank transfers take at least a day. The bank transfers can some times take longer, but that is expected. Depending on the bank, sometimes it is easier to send to MPesa then transfer to the account if you’re in a hurry. You should however, consider MPesa transfer charges if you pick this option.
PS: The beauty of using online money transfer, you get to have your receipts stored online and you can always pull them out when you need to do your tax returns (Steuererklärung)
So how much does it cost to send €500 to Kenya?
What option do you use and which one would you recommend?
|Company||Exchange Rate||Fee||Amount Received||Total Spent|
|Ria||$ to KSh. 100.47||$ 5 from Bank Account|
$ 15 for debit card
$ 30 for credit card
|KSh. 54,476.84||$ 547.22 - 572.22
€ 502.77 - 527.66
|Skrill||KSh. 105.444505||€ 0.0024||KSh. 52722||€ 500|
|SimbaPay||KSh. 103.96||FREE||KSh. 51982||€ 500|
|Exchange 4 Free||KSh. 108.7041||FREE||KSh. 54,352.05||€ 500|
|Azimo||KSh. 109.35729||€ 2.99||KSh. 54,678.65||€ 502.99|
|Equity Direct||KSh. 108.3||€ 4.00||KSh. 54150||€ 504|
|Small World||KSh. 104.7244||€ 5.00||KSh. 52,362.21||€ 505|
|Money Gram||KSh. 107,923082||€ 5.00||KSh. 53961,54||€ 505|
|World Remit||KSh. 107.01798||€ 12.99||KSh. 53509||€ 512.99|
|Sendvalu||KSh. 110.21124||€14.17||KSh. 55105.62||€ 514.17|
|Western Union||KSh. 53593.57||€ 19.90||KSh. 53593.57||€ 519.90|
Very new entrant into the German market, having announced their entry only this week. I’m definitely routing for them as a Kenyan company, it’s time we support a Kenyan start-up. However, their website is set-up for a cell phone screen making it look pretty wierd if you use it on a kawaida desktop. Also, you unfortunately have to be signed in in order to see the rates and how much it costs to use the service.
Although, it is free to use their service, their exchange rate was the worst compared to all the other services at KSh. 103 for every euro.
On the side, they offer support if you would like to open an account in Kenya.
This is a very new entrant into the market, especially in Germany. It’s not very well know but their rates are quite reasonable and they have a great offer.
This is a service offered in conjuction with Equity Bank Kenya. I believe I read somewhere that it only works if you use a British Bank account, but considering they offered the rates from Germany, I assume it works from Germany as well. Feel free to share your experience below.
Also a pretty new service in this market. The company is South African. They promise to transfer the cash for free with no hidden costs, however I can’t promise they won’t charge you for different payment methods. Worth checking out also is the fact that the rates change regularly and you need to send the cash after confirming a rate.
This falls among the veterans in the money transfer sector. Unfortunately, they are still a bit archaic in their offerings with them only allowing for cash pick up at their local shops. You can only use a VISA or Mastercard to use their service. No MPesa, no bank transfers and even the paying in, is still via VISA and Mastercard.
This is more of a new old kid. Their online offer is quite boring and the fact that they convert your Euros to US Dollars before they eventually convert them to Shillings, is a big no no. Their fees are also crazy with them going up to 30 dollars if you use a credit card.
These are pretty new into the market as well. Interestingly, they charge the highest rates at €14.17 but then, they have the highest exchange rate as well at KSh. 110 thus your recipient receives much more than all the other services.
I’m not sure how Safaricom is related to this guys, but looking at the number of SMSs Safcom sends out encouraging Kenyans to inform their relatives to transfer cash via Skrill, I assume it’s either owned by Safcom ama Safcom is their godfather. Anyhu, Skrill requires you to send the cash into your Skrill account before transferring it. If you do this beforehand, then it is free. If you use SofortÜberweisung or other services to send the cash immediately, you have to pay an extra 1-1.5% in this case that would be an extra 5euro. The Skrill Exchange rate changes regularly within the day. You have to ensure you run your transaction when it is highest.
These guys are pretty new and I couldn’t find someone who has tried them, but they look legit if you check online reviews and interviews they’ve done. They only offers Cash Pick-up or Bank transfer, no MPesa.
Guess these are the most archaic of them, not even sure why they’re on this list. They don’t offer online cash transfers to Kenya, you have to visit the local shop to transfer cash. That feels like 1950 to me, so probability of using them is zero.
UPDATE: When I wrote this article, I kept getting the error that they don’t offer online cash transfers to Kenya. However, when I tried it this morning, it worked. So may be they aren’t that hopeless after all. Though they do charge the highest fee at €19.90.
This has been an online favourite and mine as well. I’ve been using them for years, however, 2016 seems to have overwhelmed them. All the transactions I’ve run through them this year, none arrived on time and their communication is terrible. You have to call them to check on the progress. In which case, you find they haven’t even looked into it. I miss the days when you’d send cash with them and just get an SMS confirming the transaction. Hope someone from their team is reading this and improves, but in the meantime, I guess I’ll go try Simbapay.