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Here is some useful information that may help you if you are going to send money to Kenya. It may provide some cheaper ways to send money to Kenya from Australia.

Kenya’s financial system is more mature and diversified compared with many other Sub-Saharan African countries. There has also been a remarkable increase in non-bank financial institutions.

Nearly two-thirds of Kenya is rural. This makes it challenging for people living in rural areas to financial services. Financial inclusion can help to improve the quality of Kenyans’ lives. M-Pesa is a Kenyan mobile phone money transfer service, payments service and micro-financing service. Known as Mobile Money, M-Pesa provides access to financial services to anyone in Kenya with a mobile phone.

As a result, thousands of Kenyans with a mobile phone are using Africa’s biggest mobile money service to transfer money to family members in small villages, pay school fees, purchase health insurance or light their places using solar power.

As well as mobile money, financial services are available through different institutions including banks, nonbank financial institutions and informal economic groups.

The cheapest way to Send Money to Kenya from Australia depends on different variables such as rates and fees, transfer speed, transfer amount, insurance and hedging. Let’s check the options in more detail.

1. Send money to a bank account in Kenya.

Sending money to Kenya from your bank account in Australia sounds like a good idea as banks are generally the most trusted method for transferring funds around the world.

But wait a minute – does everyone in Kenya have a bank account to receive the money?

No! Only around 74% of the Kenyan adult population has a bank account. This is because many people cannot maintain the costs associated with keeping a bank account. Some may not have the required documents for opening bank products. Even those people who do have a bank account, many do not use it. Sending to a bank account doesn’t sound like such a wonderful idea anymore!

But let’s focus on those who do have a bank account and discuss this in detail.

PROS

Trust and Safety.

Banks are regulated in each country by specialized authorities. What makes any transaction made within the system very safe. Australian Bank’s are regulated by The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is an independent statutory authority that supervises institutions across banking. Kenya Bank’s are supervised by Banki Kuu ya Kenya or the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

These are some of the largest banks in Australia.

– National Australia Bank

– Australia New Zealand Bank

– Commonwealth Bank of Australia

– Westpac Banking Corporation

These are some of the largest banks in Kenya.

National Bank of Kenya

KCB Bank Kenya

Equity Bank

Cooperative Bank

Family support
Family support

Transfer limits.

Banks allow you to transfer different amounts of money. Whether you want to send a moderate or large amount, it is possible to send almost any amount through the bank.

To transfer a large amount of money, a bank can be the most reliable option. In contrast, if you are sending a small amount of money to Kenya, it is better to look for other options that we will discuss later.

And I’m not stopping there…

CONS

Exchange rates send money to Kenya

Exchange rates are the number of units that I need from one currency (Australian dollar) to send a unit of another currency (Kenyan Shilling).

The Kenya Shilling has a floating exchange rate which means it is bought and sold in the open market. The rate varies depending on the supply and demand in the foreign trade market.

Although the Australia Dollar to Kenyan Shilling exchange rate does not fluctuate very much, the exchange rate offered by banks is not always the most beneficial for transferring money aboard.

If you want to understand more about how exchange rates work, you can take a look at our blog 5 Reliable Australian Money Exchange Methods

Banks policies and procedures make the banking system much safer to use. However the sending procedure, documents and information required to make an international transfer can sometimes make the procedure difficult and complicated.

Transfer fees

Because most Australian banks do not have a direct relationship with Kenyan banks, they need to use an intermediary bank – also known as a correspondent bank. This means they will charge a higher handling fee for each transfer. These higher fees by banks may make the transfer more expensive.

The fee for sending money may also fluctuate according to the amount that you are sending. The higher the amount sent, usually the higher the total fee.

Hidden bank fees

When sending with a bank, because they use an intermediary bank, sometimes there are hidden fees which are not known at the time of sending. This can be very annoying as sometimes the beneficiary will pay this hidden fee or they will receive less money.

Sounds a little unfair right? Ultimately, the effort to move 1 dollar or to move 5,000 dollars should be the same. This may be different depending on each bank so check the conditions of your bank.

2. Send money to Kenya to a cash pick up location.

Do you prefer money to be collected in cash? Some people prefer that the beneficiary gets the funds in cash. The reasons for this may be different for each sender. Nevertheless, we will explain the advantages and disadvantages of sending money to a cash pickup location.

PROS

Transfer speed

There are different providers offering the option to send Australian dollars and deliver shillings in Kenya. You will need to supply information and provide the necessary documents to validate your identity and also maybe the source of your income.

After that, you can send the money and if there is no setback, the funds will usually be received on the same day. The speed in this method is an advantage considering it is usually faster than a bank transfer even if may require additional information.

The beneficiary must present an identification document when receiving the cash. Without this document, the money cannot be accessed.

Receive notes in your hand

Some people due to tradition prefer to use cash. Although over time the number of people using cash has decreased, this option is still a viable choice. Often older people prefer to receive cash notes directly in their hands as they are able to use the money straight away.

We get this, but use of cash may change sooner rather than later. One suggestion to reduce the transmission of germs and viruses such as COVID-19 is to avoid using cash. It is very likely the use of cash will reduce even by people who prefer using it.

Here’s the interesting part…

CONS

Transfer Fees

You will usually be charged a transfer fee and you will be given an exchange rate. Please check these carefully as sometimes there may be hidden charges that are difficult to identify.

It is important to review and identify any additional fees and choose the most convenient option if you want the person to receive cash. The higher the amount transferred, usually the higher the fee to pay.

Coverage

Nearly two-thirds of Kenya is rural. This means most people are not near places where they can cash-out the money receive. This can mean the person may need to travel some distance always have to travel to get the money, which implies time and ties it to business hours. Therefore you will also need to check with the provider where the physical cash pick locations are.

3. Send money to Kenya via a mobile money

Kenya leads the world in mobile money! M-PESA, Africa’s first mobile money platform, was launched by Safaricom in Kenya in 2007 and it has become the most popular payment method in the country.

Mobile money is the most adopted form of payment in Kenya. It is affordable and user friendly which has made it extremely popular way to make a payment. Because anyone can open an M-Pesa account, it has contributed to poverty reduction in Kenya providing equal access to financial products for everyone.

Africa Woman mobil money
Africa Woman using Mobile Money

PROS

Fast transfer speed

Sending funds to Kenya using mobile money can be done online and the transfer is usually instant. The recipient will receive a message when the funds are available in their account; it is as simple as that!

Convenient

93% of Kenya’s people are registered with M-Pesa. Is very convenient, because the recipient does not have to travel anywhere to collect the money. Also customer service is 24/7.

Exchange rates and Fees

Sending to Mobile Money offers exchange excellent rates, and you have the advantage of being able to track the transfer anytime online. Sending to M-Pesa usually has a lower fee. Check carefully as some providers increase the fee when sending a larger amount of money.

The best option is to look for a provider that has a low fixed fee regardless of the amount of the transaction.

CONS

Transfer limits.

Mobile money is good if you want to send smaller amounts of money. As I said before, having a clear fixed fee gives you peace of mind that you will not be charged more for sending a small amount of money.

M-Pesa has limits on how much money can be sent or stored in the Mobile Money account. For sending very large amounts we suggest you consider sending to a bank account.

Send money to Kenya to Recap

If you are sending money to Kenya, the total amount you want to send may impact on the best way to send.

Transferring from bank to bank may have additional costs that make the transaction expensive.

Online providers, usually offer a better rate than the one used by banks.

Some transfers are completed instantly, likewise, others take days to complete. If your transfer is instant, your recipient does not have to wait for the funds and it is less stressful.

The fastest and most competitive way to send money to Kenya.

Rocket Remit money transfer service uses mobile money the money is available instantly to the beneficiary in Kenya.  You need just the mobile number of the beneficiary to send the funds.

About Rocket Remit

We know many of you will send money home while working in Australia.

Rocket Remit is the worlds fastest international money transfer service. Send money instantly to over 36 overseas countries at very competitive rates. Use the country selector to choose the country. Click here for more information on how to send money using Rocket Remit.


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