There’s no doubt about it. Mpesa is a force to reckon with. It has revolutionized the way we do business. And trading forex with forex brokers that accept Mpesa is definitely more convenient for a beginner.
BUT, despite its wide acceptability, trading forex using Mpesa has its own limitations. For instance, among all the top-tier regulated forex brokers in the world, very few accept Mpesa. We are talking of ASIC, FCA and CySec regulated forex brokers.
These 3 are the top-tier forex market regulators:
- FCA – Financial Conduct Authority regulates brokerage firms in the United Kingdom
- ASIC – Australian Securities and Investment Commission in Australia
- CFTC – Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (United States)
Forex brokers that are regulated in these countries should give you more peace of mind and security for your funds. But like we mentioned, most forex brokers that are regulated in these top jurisdictions do not accept Mpesa.
It therefore makes sense to explore other easier ways to deposit money into your forex trading account if your goal is to trade with a top-tier forex broker.
Among the alternative deposit and withdraw methods that we’ll discuss include:
We’ve also included a list of forex brokers that we think are best for each form of deposit/withdrawal method.
We included these brokers based on how well they are regulated and the ease of doing business with them when you are in Kenya. You’ll notice that some of them are not only well regulated in top-tier jurisdictions, but also accept Mpesa payments among the other alternative funding options.
Best Forex Brokers in Kenya (2021)
– Crypto Payments
Open An XM Forex Account
XM Forex is our #1 most recommended forex broker in Kenya. Not only are they heavily regulated in top-tier jurisdictions, but also accept funding via Mpesa. Additionally, you get up to 50% deposit bonus.
Why You Can’t Always Depend on Mpesa to Trade Forex
- Mpesa Limit on Huge Transactions – If you’re doing huge transactions, Mpesa may not be the best option for you. You can only receive up to 100,000/= into your Mpesa account. And funding is capped at 70K per transactions.
- Legal Issues – The Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA) is consistently applying pressure on forex brokers that are not regulated in the country to cease and desist from onboarding Kenyan citizens. One of the ways that they try to enforce this is by making it illegal for third party payment processors such as flutterwave and iPay to process payments to unlicensed forex brokers. There have been a few cases where a payment processor has cut ties with a forex broker in the midst of a transaction, leading to lose of funds. To keep it safe, we recommend you only trade forex using Mpesa with forex brokers that are CMA licensed.
- Better Offers, Spreads, Platforms, and More – Truth be told, this is one of the biggest reasons why you should not limit yourself to a forex broker depending on the payment processors that they accept. You’ll be massively losing out on better spreads, bonuses, and innovative platforms if you limit yourself to a broker based on payment processors only.
Luckily, there are other alternative ways to deposit and withdraw money into your forex account.
1. Cryptocurrency Forex Brokers
We strongly believe that cryptocurrencies are the future of money. And to illustrate just how acceptable cryptos have become, almost all top forex brokers in the world accept them as a way to deposit and withdraw money from your account.
Different cryptocurrencies have different transactions fees associated with them. To keep your costs low, it will be wiser to transact using only the cryptos with the lowest blockchain fee.
Tether (USDT) is the cheapest cryptocurrency to use to fund your forex trading account. To get started with Tether, buy some tokens from Paxful.com, then transfer them to your forex brokers account.
How to Use Cryptocurrencies (Tether/USDT) to trade forex in Kenya
- Sign up for Paxful – Paxful is a marketplace for cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether. You can buy cryptos using Mpesa for as low as 5000 shillings (recommended).
- After buying the cryptos, go to your forex broker of choice and choose to deposit via Tether.
- The forex broker will provide you with a blockchain address where you will send the Tether (Usually a string of letters and numbers like xcfdg568dhekjhu4dg5cv54). Highlight and Copy the address.
- Go back to Paxful to choose “Send Tether”. Enter the address you copied from the broker website and complete transaction.
What You Need to Know About Paxful
- Verify your identity to get more offers. Some traders insist on only transacting with fully verified accounts. Although you can buy/sell cryptocurrencies on Paxful without full verification, being verified opens your account to more offers and cheaper transaction fees
- Tether has the cheapest blockchain fee on Paxful. Blockchain fee is a fee charged to users when performing cryptocurrency transactions. Different cryptocurrencies incur different blockchain fee. On Paxful, Tether has the cheapest blockchain fee. Buy this crypto if your sole intention is to deposit into your forex trading account. Sending $20+ to your forex broker in Tether will incur a transaction fee of 5 USDT (~$5.00). In comparison, sending the same amount via bitcoin will incur a blockchain fee of 0.0004 BTC (~$23).
Best Forex Brokers That Accept Tether (USDT)
Here’s a list of the forex brokers in Kenya that accept Tether,
- HotForex – Minimum deposit of $100
- LiteForex – minimum deposit $25
- Grand Capital – Minimum deposit 500 USDT
The only downside to funding your account using cryptocurrencies is that it might take 1-3 business days for the transaction to complete. However, forex is an investment that calls for patience. Plan your finances well in advance to avoid any frustrations. For instance, if you’ll need money for the weekend, make sure to request for withdrawals at the beginning of the week.
It’s also important to note that most forex brokers do not compensate any fees incurred during the transaction ($5 if depositing in Tether from Paxful).
We are talking of the likes of HotForex and LiteForex who accept a multitude of cryptocurrencies. Unless for reasons better know to yourself, we recommend that you explore depositing using Bitcoin as opposed to the other cryptos.
One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that you need to have a lot of money to transact in bitcoin. This is not true as you can buy fractional bitcoins.
2. PayPal Forex Brokers
PayPal is one of the oldest and most respected e-wallets in the world. The company was founded in 1999 by a group of visionary entrepreneurs that included Elon Musk, who is the current CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX Technologies.
Why Use PayPal to Trade Forex?
PayPal transactions are instant and very secure.
Only the crème de la crème of forex brokers accept PayPal deposits and withdrawals. We are talking of the likes of eToro, Forex.Com, Markets.Com, among other world class forex brokers. These are the best of the best, the safest brokers to trade with.
Pepperstone Markets, which is one of the CMA licensed forex brokers also accepts Mpesa.
Best Forex Brokers that Accept PayPal Deposits
Here’s a list of the best forex brokers that accept PayPal:
Funding your account via PayPal in Kenya
- . Make sure you use the correct details including your mobile number, preferably Safaricom
- Sign up for the PayPal Mobile Money Service that’s provided by Safaricom and link it with your PayPal account
- Use Lipa Na Mpesa Paybill Number 80088 and your phone number as the account number to transfer money from your Mpesa to PayPal. The Paybill number belongs to the Safaricom PayPal Mobile Money Service. (These instructions are available on the PayPal Mobile Money Service Website.)
- Go to your forex broker of choice and choose PayPal as the deposit method.
Withdrawing Money from PayPal to Mpesa
Withdrawing money from PayPal to Mpesa is also a blissful experience when using the PayPal Mobile Money Service by Safaricom. Simply log into the platform and choose “Withdraw from PayPal”.
3. Skrill Supported Forex Brokers
Skrill is a digital wallet that works in a similar way with PayPal. Most forex brokers support Skrill deposits and withdrawals. For forex traders in Kenya, getting started with Skrill is easy.
- Create a free account at Skrill.com
- Load the account using Mpesa
- Head over to your forex broker and choose Skrill as a deposit method
4. Prepaid/Debit Card Brokers
Almost all forex brokers out there accept credit, debit, and credit card payments. If trading forex in Kenya, we recommend you use the NCBA Loop Card or the I&M MultiCurrency Prepaid Card. You can apply for the card from the respective banks.
Other banks make a hard time to fund and carry out forex transactions using their cards with forex brokers that are not CMA licensed.