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Recommended payment gateways for E-Commerce store in Kenya

By July 3, 2020December 31st, 2020One Comment6 min read

For any online store, the success majorly depends on how well your products are being sold to your customers. As e-commerce is a fiercely competitive space to sell products or services, winning the trust and loyalty of your site visitors need to be of priority.

As a well branded e-commerce store is important, the functionality of the platform with regards to the processing of the payments is key. The choice of the payment gateway is essential in giving assurance to site visitors about your trustworthiness. Other factors to help build your trust would include website security.

A payment gateway is an e-commerce service that essentially allows merchants to accept credit card and other forms of Internet transactions securely via your website. The local form of money of transaction such as in Kenya Mpesa, AirtelMoney among others makes it easy for the purchase of products and services from the e-store.

It’s important to remember, in the case the payment options on your e-store aren’t set up correctly, you could suffer the loss of orders placed on your store and even potential customers.

Any drop in sales as a result of unsatisfied customers could be traced to a poorly executed payment gateway.

Related: How Localization Can Boost Client Retention For Your Business

The right implementation of the payment gateways, however, can prove a key ensuring long-term success of your online business.


What to Consider When Choosing Payment Gateway

Of all the payment gateways available at your disposal for your e-store, the baseline is they all don’t function in the same manner as much as the conversion is on making sales. There it is mandatory to make the right choice.

Consider these factors while figuring out which payment gateway to use:

  • Check out the transition fees associated with setting up the payment gateway. Make sure it’s within your budget.
  • Evaluate the local currencies that could be processed with the payment gateway. With Mpesa and Airtel money the better.
  • In order to know what products either digital or physical you sell, check out the terms and conditions of the payment gateways. Since some platforms may only allow selling physical goods.
  • Evaluate whether the payment gateway requires you to go through a sign-up process. If yes, then it’s better to avoid such payment gateways.
  • The basic payment gateway should accept credit card, debit card and PayPal payments.
    For a global expansion of the business, look out for a payment gateway that comes with multi-currency support.
  • Unnecessary filling out of forms during the purchase process always makes it appear to be tiresome as you would wish to have it short for conversion.
  • We’ve compiled a list of recommended payment gateways among which you can choose one that best suits your needs.


1. Cellulant

Tingg and Agrikore are payment gateway developed by Cellulant aim at offering seamless payment experience for customers. As Tingg targets both individual users and business merchants, Agrikore targets everyone in agriculture Farmers, FMCGs, Agriculture inputs providers, produce aggregators, insurance companies, financial institutions, governments, development partners.

Cellulant strives to be a blockchain-based smart-contracting, payments and marketplace system that ensures merchants can do business with each other in a trusted environment.

They support a range of payment methods from mobile payments like Mpesa, Airtel Money and Cards and Banks across 33 African countries.

To set Cellulant checkout gateway integration you would require to create an account with either Tingg and Agrikore, in order to get access to client_id and client_secret that will be used to generate oauth2 token for authorizing your requests.

An easy to follow documentation is provided with code samples for both the server-side integration in PHP and client-side in Javascript. Cellulant onboarding requires you to send your integration to the support team for review before making that first production transaction.

Cellulant also provides a testbed for customer’s activity on a checkout page, this feature can be quite useful especially if you just want to quickly test out their gateway.


2. Pesapal

Pesapal is also a recommended payment gateway that offers online shopping carts, accepts mobile payments, and so on. With Pesapal wallet merchants are able to receive payments from mobile money cards together with select mobile banking accounts.

In order to process credit card payments, you will first have to sign up as a user on Pesapal. For platforms that use WordPress, Magento, Shopify and WHMCS as the content managing system a plugin is provided to help with the setting up.


3. Direct Pay Online

Direct Pay Online has been in business for 15 years, and was founded in 1999. As a payment service provider (PSP), Direct Pay Online has developed the technology to enable businesses and individuals across the continent to make payments online and offline with all currencies and payment methods, including major cards, mobile money and e-wallets.

DPO Group has made a series of strategic acquisitions and developed a sophisticated end-to-end fraud prevention system and holds PCI DSS Level 1 Certification, the highest level of certification as set out by the industry standards, in each of the countries in which it operates.

As DPO offers services in 196 countries and accepts payments in the form of credit cards, PayPal, and debit cards. It has a low-cost fee structure and requires you to pay only 2.9% + 30?? per successful transaction. And, the best part! It doesn’t require you to pay any monthly and setup fees.


4. PayPal

PayPal is one of the most widely-used payment gateways that accepts both credit card or debit card payments. It’s free to use for buyers. However, store owners will have to pay a simple transition fee of  3.4% + $0.30 USD?, when using PayPal for credit card payments.

The best part is that you only need to pay after making a sale. This payment gateway does not require any setup fees, gateway fees, or monthly fees. Around 341,497 Internet sites use PayPal payment gateway.


5. Africa’s Talking

Africa’s Talking has grown to be a company that is fuelled by the need to empower developers building for Africa. It aims at ensuring that the developer community in Africa is successful at creating, growing and sustaining great businesses, using our solutions.

Africa’s Talking has so far provided support to a viable, entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa by providing APIs for integration with their various services. The services range from SMS, voice, Payments, USSD, and Airtime.

On payment gateway, Africa’s Talking provides mobile, banks and cards transactions despite the bank payment and card payment services being available only in Nigeria.

As for mobile payments, Africa’s talking offers hosting and a dedicated pay bill with Safaricom M-Pesa is needed to get started.

Unfortunately, Africa’s talking does not offer any other mobile payment services. A sandbox, a simulator and associated endpoints for testing are also provided with a monitoring dashboard for transactions and other maintenance services.


Don’t let payment gateways act as a roadblock to setting up a successful online business, make sure to choose the suitable option for your online store.

However, it’s too easy to become overwhelmed by choosing a payment gateway. Hopefully, reading this post will give you a good idea of five of the best payment gateways to choose from, for your e-store.

Paul S

Founder and Team Lead of Simpaul Design, a brand strategy and design agency in Nairobi, Kenya. Here at Simpaul Design, we work with brands across various categories with a focus on connecting with consumers and building brands that people want to be a part of. We specialize in brand identity and strategy, UX/UI, and brand transformation.

One Comment

  • FELIX OTIENO says:

    Good read though late Paul.
    A lot of payment gateways within the scope have been left out.

    You are encouraging readers not to use payment gateways that have sign up processes and recommend some in your list.