Well, over the past week, there have been problems with its core network such that its ATMs were not functioning. You can imagine the distressed caused to the millions of people who are forced by their companies or businesses to make payments through Equity Bank, let alone its own customers who had to put up with slow deposit processes in the lobby, because it took longer than normal to process each transaction. At some point, things got manual and Maizecob is still waiting for an apology press release on local dailies, to know that Equity is indeed the caring partner.
This morning, Equity Bank of Kenya again surprised people with yet another new product, just like M-Kesho that came with a bang. Now, it’s all about PayPal withdrawals to Kenya.
PayPal before today did not allow people to withdraw their monies to any Kenyan banks. The creative Kenyans already knew this, and they relied on epay-kenya.com services or went with Payoneer master card options. The former took a day to deliver money to your phone via Safaricom’s Mpesa and the latter delivered the money to a MasterCard enabled ATM in three days.
At most, Payoneer charges you a $3.1 withdrawal fee, and a 1% processing fee. That is pretty simple and straightforward. Maizecob has yet to find another service that matches the cost, convenience and easiness of Payoneer prepaid MasterCard and its US payment service that allows you to withdraw from PayPal.
Now, Equity Bank just released a PayPal withdrawal service the promises to take 5 to 8 days to get the money into an account in Kenya. Does Equity ATM support the PesaPoint network that has more than 1000 ATMs across Kenya?
The bad thing about the innovative partnership from Equity Bank, and what Maizecob assumes is an intermediary bank, is that the host of charges in just too much and complicated. Many percentages and a currency exchange rate that is pegged on the discretion of the bank. Many who have had to do wire transfers know that it takes 3 to 4 days, which is less than the proposed PayPal withdrawal duration. Still, the bank pinches you on the exchange rate, such you are better off with a dollar account in the first place.
It’s a solution to withdraw money from PayPal to a Kenyan bank, but if you want the fastest option, and the most affordable one, which is also safe, then please opt for the Payoneer prepaid MasterCard that has no hidden charges.