How to pay online freelancers in Kenya

Once you hire freelancers online on websites such as Entity or other freelance marketplaces like UpWork, and they do a good job, the next thing that will follow is payment.

In this article I will share some tips you can use when you pay Kenyan freelancers you hire.

Payment platforms you can use to pay freelancers online in Kenya

If you are an individual, small business or organization, here are some of the platforms you can use:

Safaricom M-PESA. You can go to your SIM toolkit menu, select M-PESA and then use the Send Money option to transfer money from your mobile money wallet to a freelancer’s phone number.

Or you can just use the mySafaricom App to enter the amount you agreed on with the freelancer, enter their phone number, enter your PIN and tap Send.

PayPal. If you already use PayPal, you can just log in to your account, tap on the Send Money option, enter a freelancer’s PayPal email address, enter the amount you owe them and tap Send.

Or you can give them your PayPal email address and tell them to send you an invoice. Once you receive a notification via email of the new invoice, you will just log in to PayPal to clear it.

Equitel. If the freelancer has an Equity Kenya bank account (which most do since some rely on Equity PayPal withdrawal service), you can simply go to your Equitel line (connected to your own Equity bank account) to send them money quickly.

Payoneer. Is another platform used by online freelancers. If both of you already have Payoneer accounts and you have funds in there, you can just log into your dashboard, enter their details (such as name and email), the amount you owe them and then click Send.

Or use a service like Transferwise as well which I see more people working online in Kenya adopting.

Payment gateways and aggregators in Kenya such as Jambopay, iPay and Kopo Kopo Lipa na M-PESA. If you use any of these services to collect payments on your website / online shop, you can use them to pay freelancers you hire.

They have a feature (in the merchant dashboard) that you can use to pay suppliers directly. So, you can just enter your freelancers bank / M-PESA details from say the Kopo Kopo dashboard and have their money safely sent to them.

Things to do before sending any money to a freelancer

Seek information about how much other businesses / individuals pay for similar tasks you outsource. Understand the pricing in the niche you will be hiring in. Once you do, you won’t feel like you are getting robbed / like the rates being quoted to you are expensive.

Check the work to make sure you are happy with it. Even if you see an invoice from the freelancer, go through the work they send you back before you pay them. It is better to look at the work first and pay after rather than rush in paying them them checking the work and realizing you don’t like it (instituting a request for a refund).

If you check the work and are happy with it but want some changes / revisions to be made, wait until they do so then you can pay the freelancer.

Check to make sure you have enough funds to pay the freelancer you outsource work to. If you ask for a quote and they tell you they will charge you Kenya Shillings 5000 / US Dollars 55 for a blog post for example, check your M-PESA / PayPal account to make sure you have that amount plus a little extra that you will be charged when sending money through these services.

Things to do when sending money to a freelancer

Once you are inside your payment dashboard ready to send money…

Double check to make sure you have entered the correct email address or phone number. There are a few clients who have mistakenly sent money to the wrong recipients just because they missed a letter in an email or entered an incorrect phone number.

If you are afraid you might make the same mistake, just copy their details from your email exchanges and paste them inside PayPal or mySafaricom App for example.

Double check to make sure you have entered the correct amount. If you are to pay KSh 5000, make sure you enter 5000 and not 500 or 50000.

Things to do once you receive a ‘payment sent’ notification

Check again to see that the money has been sent to the right person. If you are using M-PESA check the name that appears in the confirmation message. If you are using PayPal check the name that appears in the confirmation email sent to you and from the record generated withing PayPal dashboard.

Keep the emails and text messages generated by your payment provider for your records / accountant / future reference. Don’t delete them.

Log out of PayPal and close the tab. If you happened to use a computer you normally don’t use (one at work, at home or one in a cyber cafe) you can even go to the Options page on your web browser to delete PayPal related cookies.

Start taking advantage of the work you received from the freelancer immediately. If you hire someone to write a blog post for you for example, upload it to your blog / website, add a title and description in the SEO fields, add an image, format it to your liking, click Publish and request indexing of the post URL on Google Search Console. And then share it to your social media channels as well.

If it is a lead magnet or a series of emails, upload them to your email marketing service provider and get a landing page / email sign up forms on your website to start funneling leads to your new email list.

If you pay a freelancer to help you with your paid advertising campaign, start responding to queries you get from visitors (in the comments, email, live chat and phone) promptly.

And if you want to have a good relationship with freelancers you hire, pay them well and pay them on time.

And if you want to work with a freelancer more than once, most love getting repeat work, so just sk if they can make themselves available for more assignments from you. If they are busy, you can hire another person.

Check the various categories on Entity.co.ke to find people to hire. Or just place an ad listing for free with details about other things you want to outsource.

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