PayPal Alternatives in Zimbabwe

PayPal is a hot topic among Zimbabweans, probably because it is not available in the country. Okay, that’s something of an exaggeration. People in Zimbabwe can open PayPal Accounts. What’s more, they can link their local Visa and MasterCard cards to PayPal, which allows them to make purchases online. The trouble comes when it comes to receiving money into their PayPal accounts and linking their bank accounts to their PayPal accounts. Simply put, Zimbabweans are not able to do this, which is why many may be looking for alternatives. Here, in any case, are the PayPal Alternatives that are currently available in Zimbabwe;

PayPal Alternatives in Zimbabwe

The following are some of the PayPal alternatives that are available in Zimbabwe;

  1. Payoneer: Payoneer is a great PayPal alternative for Zimbabweans who are looking to get paid for freelancing work. Payoneer is a United States payment services that is used across the globe. Once you have signed up, you get a Payoneer MasterCard card, which you can use to make purchases around the world, including in Zimbabwe. The only problem with Payoneer now is that if you decide to use the card in Zimbabwe, you will actually be losing large parts of the value of your money. That’s because the money that’s in your account, though composed of real US dollars, is treated as local virtual money. An option in this regard is to go to Botswana or South Africa, or even the United States, to withdraw your money there. You can then come back and convert the cash into virtual bonds at a favorable rate.
  2. Western Union: Western Union is another PayPal alternative that is open for Zimbabweans. This has recently become quite attractive, considering the fact that people who receive remittances from the diaspora get their money as cash. What this means is that you will then be able to convert that cash into virtual money at a favorable rate.
  3. Mukuru: Mukuru is another PayPal alternative that’s available in Zimbabwe. It is mostly used by Zimbabweans in South Africa. The concept is the same as is the case with Western Union. You get your money as cash from the banks, which gives you better value than having it converted into a bank balance, as would be the case if Zimbabwean banks could be linked to PayPal.
  4. Other Money Transfer Agencies: There are several other money transfer agents out there, all of which are now offering Zimbabweans cash for money that is sent from abroad. Of these, one of the cheapest is Worldremit. On top of the cash hard currency, the recipient gets a 3% import incentive in the form of bond notes and bond coins.
  5. Wire transfers: Wire transfers are another PayPal alternative that’s open for Zimbabweans. With wire transfers, the money is electronically sent from the diaspora, and you receive it in your Zimbabwean bank account. The major problem with this is that your money would become virtual Zimbabwean dollars on arrival. There is, however, a facility where you can have the money that you receive through wire transfer ring-fenced so you can get the cash and export incentives.

PayPal is not really the best option for Zimbabweans

PayPal is, for one reason or the other, much sought after by Zimbabweans. However, in our view, it is not really the best option at the moment when it comes to receiving money from the diaspora. Things were better when the virtual Zimbabwe dollar was equal to the United States dollar. Now that the virtual bond has dropped more than half of its value, it’s better for you to get cash via Western Union, Worldremit and other of the money transfer agents that operate in the country. The fact that the RBZ has guaranteed cash US dollars for such receipts makes these agencies the best option as far as maintaining the value of your money is concerned. 

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