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How to Receive International Payment in Africa Including PayPal


The COVID-19 pandemic enabled millions of professionals, entrepreneurs, and freelancers worldwide, including in Africa, to seek and engage with international companies and clients.

However, despite this evolution in the nature of work, international payments remain a significant challenge for many in Africa.

7 Ways African Entrepreneurs Can Receive International Payments

  1. Payoneer
    • Market Capitalization: Over 2 billion USD
    • Founded: 2005
    • Headquarters: New York, United States
    • How it Works: Payoneer provides users with USD and GBP bank accounts, among others, for receiving payments globally. Users need to create an account, complete the KYC verification process, and then share their account details with clients who can then pay for services through the platform. As the account matures and business expands, access to accounts in additional currencies, such as the Canadian Dollar, becomes more attainable.
  2. Stripe
    • Founded: 2010
    • Headquarters: San Francisco, United States
    • How it Works: Stripe offers a seamless payment processing platform that enables businesses to accept payments from customers worldwide. The platform supports various currencies and payment methods, making it ideal for businesses looking to expand their global reach.
  3. TransferWise (Wise)
    • Founded: 2011
    • Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
    • How it Works: TransferWise, now known as Wise, provides a transparent and cost-effective way to send and receive money internationally. Users can hold and convert money in multiple currencies, making it easier to manage international transactions.
  4. Skrill
    • Founded: 2001
    • Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
    • How it Works: Skrill offers a digital wallet that allows users to send and receive money globally. The platform supports multiple currencies and payment methods, making it a convenient option for international transactions.
  5. Grey: A New Player in the Field

    Founded in 2020 by Idorenyin Obong and Femi Aghedo, Grey is a Nigerian fintech startup that has quickly made a name for itself in the international payments arena. Backed by Y Combinator and having raised over $2 million in investments, Grey offers a payment facilitation strategy similar to that of Payoneer.

    Grey creates foreign accounts for its users, allowing them to share these account details with their clients for seamless payment processing. With a user base exceeding 100,000, Grey has garnered praise for its favorable exchange rates and efficient services. While currently operational in Kenya and Nigeria, Grey has plans to expand its services to Uganda, Tanzania, and other African countries in the near future.


    Upwork Direct Contracts: Empowering Freelancers Worldwide

    For freelancers offering digital services, Upwork is a familiar platform that has been connecting freelancers with clients since 2013. With its presence in over 180 countries, Upwork offers a straightforward payment system that allows freelancers to receive foreign currency directly into their local bank accounts.

    A recent development on the Upwork platform is the introduction of Direct Contracts, a feature that enables freelancers to take their projects outside of the platform while still enjoying the payment benefits of Upwork. With Direct Contracts, freelancers can create contracts for their clients, who then pay through Upwork. This feature provides freelancers with greater control over the terms of the agreement and payment process.

    However, it’s important to note that Direct Contracts can only be used with clients who do not have an existing Upwork account. If the client has an Upwork account, freelancers are required to conduct the transaction through the platform.

  7. Cryptocurrency Payments:
    • How it Works: Accepting payments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin can be another option for African entrepreneurs.
    • Advantages: Offers fast and low-cost transactions, and can provide an additional layer of privacy.
    • Requirements: Users need to set up a cryptocurrency wallet and provide their wallet address to clients for payments.

The PayPal Predicament

PayPal, a leading financial technology company, facilitates millions of dollars in transactions daily. However, in several African countries such as Nigeria and Zimbabwe, PayPal’s services are severely restricted.

This limitation poses a challenge for African entrepreneurs seeking payments from clients and customers. Even in countries like South Africa, Mauritius, and Kenya, where PayPal is fully supported, entrepreneurs often find it necessary to diversify their payment options.

To receive international payments with PayPal, contact us:

Also Read: Steps to Begin a Lucrative African Import Business from Your Home


As African entrepreneurs continue to explore opportunities in the global market, having access to reliable international payment solutions is essential.

By leveraging platforms like Payoneer, Stripe, TransferWise (Wise), and Skrill, African entrepreneurs can overcome the challenges associated with receiving international payments and focus on growing their businesses on a global scale.


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