Kenyans who live outside of the country and residents of several other countries end up sending money to Kenya for different reasons. Until around a couple of decades ago, people who wanted to transfer money to Kenya had to choose from using the services of banks or a handful or high street forex brokers. Fortunately, that is no longer the case. Now, several specialist overseas money transfer companies give people easy means to send money to Kenya online and through other ways.
Transfer Money to Kenya
- User Rating
- Transfer Type
- Regular Payments
- Mobile App
- Min Transfer Amount
- Two Transfers Fee Free
- 1 - 3 Days
- $250 / £100 / €250
Currency Corridors & Swift Codes
Currency Symbol and Swift Codes
The Kenyan shilling (KES) has been the official currency of Kenya since 1966, when it replaced the East African shilling. It is denoted using the “KSh” symbol. One Kenyan shilling is divided into 100 cents. The exchange rate of Kenyan shilling to U.S. dollar saw a significant drop from mid-2011 to around mid-2015.
If you want to send money to a bank account in Kenya, you will need the receiving bank’s SWIFT code. Here are SWIFT codes of some popular banks in the region.
Popular Currency Corridors
Cross-border money transfers take place to and from Kenya regularly and in noticeable volumes. In 2016, more than U.S. $1.73 billion was sent to Kenya from other countries as remittances, and more than U.S. $315 million was sent from Kenya to other parts of the world.
The tables below show how much money was sent to and from Kenya through its popular currency corridors in 2016. The amounts listed are in U.S. dollars.
How Do I Compare Companies When Sending Money to Kenya?
Are you looking for the cheapest way to send money to Kenya or do you need a quick turnaround time? Depending on your individual needs, these factors may affect your decision making process.
- Cost. If you want to send money to Kenya from USA, the UK, Tanzania, or any other country, you will be subject to exchange of currencies. While the exchange rate you get might vary from one service provider to the next, there may be a difference in the fees you need to pay as well. An easy way to determine the cheapest way to send money to Kenya is to look at how much money the recipient stands to receive once the transfer is complete.
- Speed. If sending money to Kenya quickly is the top priority, consider using the services of a company that has physical locations or agent networks in the country. Transfers to cash pickup locations in Kenya tend to process almost straight away. When sending money to a Kenyan bank account, the processing time may vary from two to five or more business days, depending on the company you select and the receiving bank.
- Paying for your transfer. The most commonly accepted payment method for sending money to Kenya is bank account transfers. Some of the top companies let you pay using debit and credit cards, and some even accept payments via different region-specific methods.
- Customer service. While transferring money to Kenya is usually easy, you never know when you might need some kind of assistance. Some of the top money transfer companies provide local phone support in different countries. Several offer online support via email and chat. You may get an indication of the customer service levels of companies you shortlist by turning to online platforms such as Trustpilot and Feefo.
How to Transfer Money to Kenya?
Depending on the service provider you select, you may initiate the process of transferring money to Kenya in different ways.
- Online. Several leading banks let their customers send money to Kenya online. However, since banks tend to charge steep fees and offer less-than-favorable exchange rates, you might be better off turning to a specialist overseas money transfer company.
- Over the phone. Some companies that let you send money to Kenya online also let you get carry out transfers over the phone. The possibility of getting access to a dedicated currency broker exists, should you so desire.
- In-person. If you want to carry out a money transfer to Kenya in person, you might be able to do so by visiting your local bank. However, given most banks’ cost effectiveness and speed, it might be a better idea to turn to a money transfer company that operates out of physical locations.
Clement moved to the UK to study, and he continued living in the country after his education was over because he found a desirable job. During one of his visits to Kenya, he decided to purchase a house there. After making the required down payment, he needed to start making monthly payments toward the mortgage he got from a Kenyan bank. As a result, he had to transfer money to Kenya every month. He compared the services of a prominent bank in the UK with a leading money transfer company and this is what he found.
|Bank||Money Transfer Service|
|Exchange rate||GBP 1 = KES 135.8468||GBP 1 = KES 141.7837|
|Transfer fee||GBP 20||GBP 0|
|Amount received for GBP 2,000||KES 268,976.66||KES 283.567.40|
|Transfer time||2 to 5 days||2 to 3 days|
|Transfer options||Bank account||Bank account|
|Difference of||KES 14,590.74|
Using the services of the money transfer company instead of the bank ensured that Clement received a better British pound to Kenyan shilling exchange rate. In addition, the company he selected gave him the ability to lock in exchange rates for up to six months, and he could also schedule transfers according to his convenience.
Cash Pickup Locations in Kenya
When transferring money to Kenya quickly is your top priority, consider turning to an overseas money transfer company such as MoneyGram, WorldRemit, Ria, or Western Union. Given below are addresses of a few cash pickup locations in Kenya.
|Ria Money Transfer in Kenya|
|Nairobi Moi Avenue Branch Guilders Building, Opposite Ebrahim S Supermarket, Naorbi||River Road Branch, Country Hotel Along Kamae Road, Nairobi|
|Kisumu Branch, Imperial Express Hotel, Oginga Odinga Odinga Road, Kisumu||Malindi Kenya Post Office Savings Bank, Malindi Business Complex, Malindi|
|WorldRemit in Kenya|
|Nairobi KCB Bank, Biashara Street, Nairobi||UAE Exchange Shop No: 12, Diamond Plaza Annex, Masari Road Parklands, Nairobi|
|Kisumu KCB Bank, Inside Kisumu airport, Kisumu||Malindi KCB Bank, Lamu Road, Malindi|
Safety Tips for Picking Up Cash in Kenya
If you want to collect money from a physical location, try doing so in a bank or a shopping complex. If the transfer involves a large sum, exercise due caution and consider taking someone your trust along. Avoid carrying a lot of money and wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
Instances of bag snatching are common in and around airports, railway stations, and bus terminals. Carjacking, muggings, armed robberies, and kidnappings are common in larger cities such as Nairobi and Mombasa. Slums in the bigger cities are prone to higher crime rates, so avoid them when possible.
If you are under threat, do not resist. Do not walk around at night, especially in secluded areas. There have been instances of thieves posing as private security guards or police officers, so ask for identification if approached by any. Do not accept food or beverages from strangers.
What Information Do I Need to Transfer Money to Kenya?
The information you need to provide when transferring money to Kenya depends on the transfer method you choose.
- Transfer to bank account. You will need the recipient’s complete name, a bank account number, the receiving bank’s name, and the bank’s SWIFT code.
- Transfer to cash pickup location. You need to provide the recipient’s complete name along with the location of a desired cash pickup center. The recipient will get the money by presenting a valid form of photo ID and a reference number.
Regulations When Transferring Money To and From Kenya
The Central Bank of Kenya functions as the country’s monetary authority. It monitors the country’s financial systems and also works in maintaining the Kenyan shilling’s stability. Since the Kenyan shilling is completely convertible, it is easy to transfer money to and from Kenya.
While there are no restrictions on cross-border money transfers to and from Kenya, transfers that exceed KES 500,000 are reported to the country’s custom authorities. If you are leaving Kenya, you may carry up to KES 100,000 in cash at one time.
As a founding member of the East African Community (EAC), Kenya may adopt a common currency in the near future.
Transferring money to Kenya does not involve rocket science, and you may find a suitable service provider by taking some time to compare your alternatives. If you want to save even more money, look for ongoing promotional offers.
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