How to Withdraw Money from Online Freelancer Sites in Kenya

The life of a freelancer can be quite unnerving. It is a life fast-paced, clogged to near-suffocation by deadlines and unrelenting emails from worried clients. So it was all pomp and celebration when I made my first $ online. Well, it was nothing big, just $75 from a writing gig. All the same, it was good enough a wand to throw a few rounds of latte. First things first, I had to withdraw my earnings.

I made my $75 in less than a week at Freelancer. You have to wait for 15 days before your first withdrawal is processed; has something to do with security reasons or concerns of some sort. That was not an issue though and soon enough, the 15-day waiting period was confined to the past. But still, I did not have my money.

No, Freelancer had processed everything right but the amount sat jailed in my PayPal account. Withdrawing to the said platform was a grave mistake I should have known better to avoid. Technically speaking, PayPal suffers from multiple organ failure as long as the Kenyan market is concerned. Luckily, a friend of a friend living abroad came to my aid and I got my earnings, though painfully lesser than $75 via Western Union. Boy, oh boy was I DISCOURAGED. I gave myself an indefinite break.

Then one late afternoon, someone special mentioned Moneybookers, which I gather is currently being married off to Skrill. She also mentioned another payment platform, the first of its kind, that is based right here in Kenya. I decided to give both a try. I set up a Moneybookers account, which I must admit was very simple and straightforward. Then I moved on and created an account with ePay-Kenya, which also was simple and relaxed.

Simply stated, ePay-Kenya allows you to withdraw funds straight from Moneybookers to your M-Pesa account. The whole process takes less than an hour (as long as you do not withdraw at night).

Well, it is at the formative stages and the whole thing is somewhat running on manual, plus ePay has to rely on third party gateways to process the payments. That should explain the ten-minute-to-one-hour wait. Overall, it is quite effective and probably the only system in Kenya that allows you to withdraw instantly from online freelancer sites through Moneybookers. All that you need is an active Moneybookers account for clients to make payments and a verified ePay-Kenya account.

Nonetheless, there are fees that will need meeting. Before withdrawing to M-Pesa, you will have to make a deposit to your ePay account from Moneybookers. Every deposit attracts a 10 percent fee that is claimed from the amount deposited. There is also a 3 percent fee taken by Moneybookers. Finally, to withdraw to M-Pesa, you have to part with a $3 fee. For illustration purposes, let us withdraw $50 you supposedly made this week.

  • 10% of $50 = $5 (By ePay)
  • 3% of $50 = $1.5 (By Moneybookers)
  • $3 M-Pesa charge (By ePay)

Amount that goes into your pocket = $50 – $5 -$3 – $1.5 = $40.5

With the garbage that is our economy, the hypothetical $40.5 in hand is better than $50 held up somewhere on the internet. I did what I love doing most and complained about the fees. One seemingly well-trained fellow nicely informed me that fees would eventually come down with the expected expansion in membership. Projections by ePay pegged that at about 6 months from now, hopefully. I later learnt that the seemingly expensive rates are due to high fees charged by the aforementioned third party gateways.

On the bright side, the customer care team is on point; quick, courteous and well composed. All is not lost if you have some money trapped away in PayPal. EPay-Kenya has a way of withdrawing the same. For this, you will need to contact them directly at

Well, I will continue using the service if for nothing else, its reliability. Of course, I will be looking forward to lower fees.

Ok mateys, that there is how to withdraw money online if you are a freelancer in Kenya. As a certain literature tutor used to quote, there are many ways of killing a rat, so if you are privy to any other way, I would be delighted to put a few words to that as well.

17 responses to “How to Withdraw Money from Online Freelancer Sites in Kenya

  1. Wow this is fantastic I am just wondering why kenya is so neglected. I work online and get through pay pal but trust me I have to go through a lot of pain before placing a figure on that money πŸ™‚ We need to think first and at least get a solution that would work for us.

    Personally I use a totally different way but its hectic. I am still trying to get a better option. I guess we as the people that are working online need to come together try to have a solution to it.

  2. Wow,
    what a great post. Very informative i have just learn a new solution to my long long worries.
    I wish with time the banks in Kenya will realize the potential of Kenya online and think of this options like Paypal…. go to freelance Odesk and other money making sites and you will be surprised by the population of Kenya there.

  3. This is a fantastic write-up. I tried epay-kenya after reading this article and I was very impressed at the speed at which I got paid. Yes, I agree the staff are very courteous and professional, . always updating you on the progress of your order. Best option by far though a bit expensive.

  4. epay has made a significant rate reduction in their charges. Moneybookers down to 11% from 13% and Paypal down to 14% from 16%. This is good news and a relief to some of us who earn our livelihood from online activities. Kudos to epay and keep going lower!!

  5. Very informative post…..I have used ePay-Kenya for close to two years now and I have to say I have never been disappointed… Karani stated above, their rates are now lower with promises of even lower rates in the future. I love their new ticketing system and even more amazing is the fact you can now withdraw both paypal and moneybookers( Skrill) money within the hour… can learn more about this on their news section at …..thanks moderator for this wonderful post

  6. I agree that is good for fast withdrawals. Actually there is another system that works very well. I am also a very online savvy guy having made thousands of dollars online. I have done a similar post at the link below.

    I am doing a followup post with another method of PayPal withdrawal that has not been properly documented in Kenya. Follow my blog for that soon.

  7. allows you to withdraw from PayPal and Moneybookers direct to Mpesa at very reasonable rates. Your cash is delivered within 24 hours.

    All you need is to create a free account on the website to place your order.

    • Hey Isaac!

      I haven’t checked out but as soon as I can, I will let you know what I think. There is also Payoneer that I will be trying in a few number of days (as soon as I get my replacement card).

  8. Having had both accounts activated, my Skrill account having had got money in it, how do I receive money to my epay account? I’d appreciate if you sent me a short procedure

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