The Skrill to M-Pesa withdrawal service is the next big thing after the PayPal-Equity Bank partnership. M-Pesa is the wonder Safaricom product that has millions of subscribers in Kenya.
Almost every adult Kenyan has an M-Pesa Account. The M-Pesa service is so important in Kenya that Bill Gates, (Yes! the rich Tech-preneur) parallels M-Pesa to the Bitcoin service.
‘ The foundation is involved in digital money but unlike Bitcoin it would not be anonymous digital money. In Kenya M-pesa is being used for almost half of all transactions. Digital money has low transaction costs which is great for the poor because they need to do financial transactions with small amounts of money. Over the next 5 years I think digital money will catch on in India and parts of Africa and help the poorest a lot’ – Bill Gates
The Skrill-M-Pesa service has been around for close to a month now. I was interested to know exactly how the service works. To satisfy my curiosity, I decided to use a small amount from my online hustles as ‘bait’.
The process to withdraw from Skrill to Mpesa is pretty straightforward. To start it off, you head to the Skrill iT portal. Then, click on the ‘Send Money’ button located on the right side of the banner with the attractive African lady. This link will automatically open a new tab.
On the new tab, you will find a widget that helps you convert other world currencies to Ksh. You will input the amount you wish to send and thereafter click on the ‘Get Started’ link. After clicking the link, things started getting weird. In the recipient section, there was only a slot for a name and an Email address.
The phone number slot of the recipient was notably missing. M-Pesa works in the way that equates your phone number to a bank account number. Therefore, your Safaricom number is the crucial link between you and the almighty dollar. Still motivated to understand the system, I typed in my full name and email.
On clicking the ‘continue’ button, an error prompt came up indicating that I could not send the cash to myself. I thought it was a website bug or something similar and decided to use my alternate email address.
After confirming your Skrill Account details, you will review and confirm the amount and hit the send button. Then comes the mother of all disappointments.
The service credits the cash sent to a Moneybookers account rather to an M-Pesa Account. In the case that the recipient lacks a Moneybookers account, the recipient is prompted to open an account to withdraw the cash.
Therefore, the recipient only has the option to withdraw the cash from their Moneybookers account via the approved withdrawal channels.
Kindly note M-Pesa is currently not an approved Skrill withdrawal option. Frankly, I felt pissed off! The hype about the Skrill to Mpesa service was intensive. To add salt to the injury, Skrill actually confirmed the Skrill to M-Pesa service through an official newsletter.
Skrill will also bill you all the incurred transaction fees despite the flaw in the Skrill to M-Pesa service. Skrill really needs to iron out the kinks in what would have otherwise been an extremely great service. A good number of Kenyans are fed up with the bureaucratic banking system full of the ‘working days’ rhetoric.
Both Skrill and M-Pesa are awesome; a combination of the two would have been fantastic. For two years now, i have been a Skrill fan boy.
In addition to that, it would have been extremely helpful, if the Skrill website had an M-Pesa withdrawal option.
This will add up some functionality to the service. Fingers crossed, I just hope that Skrill will go back to the drawing board and make the Skrill to M-Pesa service a reality.
Skrill, please don’t keep us waiting
Any thoughts on the service? Drop them in the comment section below.