The Most Popular Payment Gateways in Kenya

The first idea that comes to mind when payment gateways are mentioned is Mpesa API integration in Kenya. The thought is expected given the popularity of Mpesa payments in the country for online and over the counter transactions. However, not all customers that visit your online store prefer Mpesa payments. You need to consider more than one payment option to capture all segments in your target market.

Before we talk about the specific payment gateways, let us look at the factors to consider when comparing the gateways. You have many choices in the market but not all will work for your e-commerce business. Choose a payment gateway based on the following factors:

1. Security

Clients provide their confidential information at checkout if they trust the payment gateway. Choose a reputable gateway with positive feedback from previous buyers in terms of security. The providers must care for the users’ security enough to include the best security technology in their payment gateway. The best gateways offer bank-level security and bear SSL certificates that meet industrial standards. Given the importance of safety to buyers, cross check the security measures beyond the promotional messages

2. Fees charged

How much will you spend every month or year for the payment gateway? The safest gateways often attract high integration and maintenance fees. Compare the fees charged for each transaction, report, and account fees among other cost items. The cost of the online payment gateway should be reasonable depending on your earnings from the e-commerce platform.

3. Compatibility

How well does the payment gateway integrate into your e-commerce platform? The integration process should be smooth and easy for developers. Compatibility also influences the users’ experience on your platform. The experience should give clients confidence in your brand from the start to the end of every transaction.

4. Location

We are looking at payment gateways in Kenya but as you will soon discover, some are located in other countries. Clients complete the transaction smoothly on your platform but the site directs them to a third-party site at checkout. Others allow clients to complete the transaction on the same website. The best choice depends on the type of experience you want to give your clients. Some clients shy away from payments when directed to a new website.

5. Acceptable payment methods

Some payment gateways allow a specific mode of payment while some incorporate several payment methods. The decision here depends on your target clients, their location, and preferences. The reality is that one payment option might not work for all clients at all times. It is safer to give several methods even if the majority of the clients settle for one payment method.

Payment gateways in Kenya

You can choose any of the following payment gateways based on the criteria discussed in the previous section.

Mpesa API

Mpesa comes first on the list because most of the payments you will receive from Kenyan clients will come through mobile money. While other mobile money services are available, Mpesa is the most popular. Many online entrepreneurs prefer Mpesa API integration in Kenya because clients trust the payment method. Safaricom Limited has done its best to ensure that the payment method is safe. The process of Mpesa integration is simple, fast, and compatible with most e-commerce platforms.


The gateway offers several payment options for over-the-counter and online purchases. The payment methods include Mpesa, MasterCard, Airtel Money, Visa cards, Elma, and Kenswitch. The advantage of integrating this payment gateway is that your clients will have more than one payment method to use at checkout. The payments are fast and secure. The gateway is approved by the Central Bank of Kenya and has the best SSL certificates in the industry for data encryption.


The payment gateway offers more than ten payment methods including Visa, MasterCard, Mpesa, Airtel Money, Equity Bank, Co-operative Bank, American Express, and PesaPal E-Wallet. The gateway guarantees its users of bank-level security. PesaPal is available for personal and business online transactions. The gateway has attracted top companies across all industries including banking, hotels, and telecommunication among others.


MasterCard is one of the most secure methods of payment for online businesses. The payment gateway will work best for businesses that target both local and international clients. The gateway is trusted around the world for its top security systems. It is easy to detect fraud when using MasterCard. The only challenge with the payment gateway is the fees charged for integration. Unlike other payment gateways, you need qualified developers to create a good e-commerce platform that is compatible with MasterCard.


The gateway is becoming popular in Kenya and other countries in Africa. Shopify offers several payment methods including Pay Gate, Bit Pay, PayPal Express Checkout, PesaPal, and Go Coin. Although most of the payment methods suit international trade, the gateway enables users to pay in their local currencies.

Direct Pay Online (DPO)

Direct Pay Limited targets travel-related companies including hotels, airlines, tour guides, and travel agents. The platform is also available to other e-commerce merchants and to individuals for paying utility bills. The company has expanded its reach to other African countries including Ethiopia, Botswana, Mauritius, Ghana, and Namibia among others. The payment options via this gateway include Mpesa, Airtel, Tigo, Voda, MTN, Visa, MasterCard, PCI, American Express, and Pesa.

MobiCard Systems

The payment gateway enables merchants to accept card and mobile payments from online buyers. The system operates under a bank-grade security system and does not store the clients’ card information on its servers. Signing up for a MobiCard enables you to receive Visa and MasterCard payments. You can also receive Mpesa payments on the same system. The service provider has streamlined the payment options to the most popular payment methods in Kenya.


The payment gateway provides an easy, fast, and secure way for clients to make payments across Africa. Users can pay bills or buy airtime within seconds. Entrepreneurs can receive payments for their social commerce products or any other product offered online. The gateway customizes the payment methods to suit the location of the user.

Final Remarks

You can tell from this list that you have several payment gateways to consider apart from Mpesa Integration in Kenya. However, you must do your part and assess the security for each gateway before integrating it into your website. It is also important to test the flow of payments to give your clients the best experience on your platform. Check the availability of the support team in case technical issues arise after integration.

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