Kenyans Locked Out Of PayPal Accounts

Some users reported their funds being held by the service, thus being unable to make transactions. Others revealed that they lost their accounts permanently, without any prior warning.

Kenyans Locked Out Of PayPal Accounts
American payment service PayPal. /BUSINESS TODAY

A number of Kenyans risk losing millions in cash as popular American payment service PayPal barred them from making transactions on the platform on Friday, February 26.

Some users reported their funds being held by the service, thus being unable to make transactions. Others revealed that they lost their accounts permanently, without any prior warning.

"It’s mostly an identity issue. On PayPal, as soon as I receive $3000 per day, my transaction is flagged," warned one user.

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"I have a friend whose Ksh200,000 has been stuck in a PayPal account for quite some time," another weighed in.

The freelancers also complained that they tried to frantically reach out to the service but to no avail.

Others shared screenshots of their blocked accounts on Twitter, some showing that their accounts were temporarily suspended while others completely blocked from transacting with the company. 

PayPal is used by many Kenyans who offer services such as academic writing, website development, research, virtual assistant jobs, and transcription among others. They have offered an alternative employment method for thousands of youth across the country.

Recently, the platform was integrated with Safaricom's M-PESA to offer easier transactions to users who earn money from freelance work online. It is also integrated into one bank in Kenya, Equity Bank.

According to Ajira, a digital program under the Ministry of ICT, a majority of online work is done by people in developing countries in Asia and Africa. Research showed that by 2017, 40,000 Kenyans were registered on Upwork, a leading freelance platform.

Assignments are offered to freelancers by clients on several other online platforms to complete. Once done, the money is sent to them by the clients through various digital platforms such as Paypal, Neteller, Skrill, Western Union among others.