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PoaPay Money Transfers Review

PoaPay is an international money transfer service that supports overseas transactions from the United States to Kenya. Due to the straightforward capabilities the user interface is simple and not congested with different features, however, the limited supported countries is the most limiting factor of this company. Our PoaPay review will examine key areas of PoaPay money transfers, such as fees, exchange rates, mobile services, reputation and customer feedback.

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About PoaPay

PoaPay is a Kenyan remittance company founded in 2006 that is approved by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) and operates across 4 Kenyan cities: Kiambu, Nairobi, Kisii and Nakuru. The service is designed to facilitate money transfers from the US (in USD) to Kenya. The company’s mission is to make transfers between the two countries easily accessible for both personal and business use. 

PoaPay is a great choice for recipients that want to send money in USD, to recipients in Kenya who use Kenyan Shilling (KES) because of the fair fee structure and specialist service. However, customers with global remittance needs that are outside of this transfer corridor, will need to look elsewhere.  If you have no reason to send money to Kenya, then you will need to consider other international money transfer providers. Our review of PoaPay will look at the details of this service, to identify whether it is better than what banks and other competitors can offer. 

PoaPay exchange rates, fees and costs

This section will examine the exchange rate, plus any fees, as we evaluate the overall cost of a PoaPay transfer. 

Exchange rate

PoaPay uses the USD/KES exchange rate provided by the Central Bank of Kenya. The company is more favorable of smaller transactions; the mark-up increases with the transaction size. Customers can enter the transfer details and preview the rate before confirming the transaction. At the time of writing, PoaPay offered an exchange rate of 1 USD to 112.52 KES, a 0.38% mark-up on the mid-market rate which is very competitive. Check out our guide to Exchange Rates to learn more.

Transfer fees:

The transfer fee charged by PoaPay depends on the transaction size, for instance: 

  • Transfers of $0 – $10.99 = $0.50 fee
  • Transfers of $101 – $150.99 = $4.99 fee
  • Transfers of $1,001 – $1200.99 = $11.99 fee
  • Transfers of $3,001 – $3,500.99 = $22.99 fee
  • Transfers above $7,000 = $50 fee

This scaling fee structure increases by the amount being transferred, which means smaller transfers will be charged a smaller fee. If you are sending an amount that exceeds $3,000 or equivalent, we recommend TorFX, an operator that specialises in transferring large amounts abroad.

Additional costs

If the recipient wishes to receive USD instead of KES, significantly higher charges will be incurred. In addition to this, transfers funded by Visa or MasterCard credit cards will incur further fees, in the region of 3.49%. For this reason, PoaPay recommends funding remittances with bank transfers and only using credit cards in emergencies. 

Top destinations for sending money with PoaPay

To determine if a provider is suitable for your needs, you must consider the supported countries, which in PoaPay’s case is the most limiting factor of the service. 

PoaPay only allows transfers from the United States to Kenya. More specifically, you can only send money from 3 states in the US: Alabama, New Jersey and Washington. This is because these are the states where PoaPay has acquired the necessary licensing. 

Since you can only send money to Kenya, the average user will require the use of alternative services, so we would recommend Xe, an operator that supports transfers to over 170 countries. 

Pros and cons of using PoaPay

By examining the main aspects of PoaPay money transfers, our users will be able to determine if this company matches their needs. 

Pros
Simple steps: PoaPay offers a straightforward transfer process from start to finish, with a simple user interface that is easy to follow and set up
Free first transfer: PoaPay offers to waive fees for the first transfer which means new customers can try out this service for free
Competitive exchange rate: Although limited, the forex rate offered for USD/KES is almost identical to the mid-market rate, making this a first rate option for customers sending money to Nigeria
Cons
Limited countries: Perhaps the most obvious con of PoaPay is the provider’s limited coverage; money can only be sent from Alabama, New Jersey or Washington, in the United States, to Kenya
Additional fees: Also known as hidden fees, there are a few additional charges to be aware of when sending money with PoaPay; for instance, if the recipient wants to receive funds in USD, they will be charged a fee of 3%
Transfer time: When sending money via bank transfer, the recipient will have to wait 2-5 business days for funds to arrive; this is much slower than what specialist international money transfer services can offer
Transaction limit: the maximum you can send with PoaPay is only $5,000 as an ACH transfer; this will not work for customers who have larger remittance requirements

What type of transfers can you make with PoaPay?

PoaPay facilitates the following types of transfers:

  • Bank transfers: customers can send money with any US bank account. The sender has to use USD and the recipient can receive the funds in USD or KES. The transfer time is around 2-5 business days. 
  • Credit/debit cards: you can register with PoaPay using a valid Visa or MasterCard card. However, you may be charged an additional fee, depending on your card; this fee may be around 2.9% of the transfer amount. 
  • Cash pick up: the recipient can choose to collect the funds as cash, with multiple pick up points across Kenya, in Kiambu, Nairobi, Kisii and Nakuru, 

How long will it take to receive money using PoaPay?

Transfer time is an important factor to consider when selecting the right international money transfer service and to help our users, we have identified how long PoaPay transfers typically take.

When sending money as a bank transfer, it will take 2 – 5 business days for funds to arrive, depending on what time of day you have sent the money and the banks involved in the transaction. 

To enjoy instant transfers, senders must fund the transfer using a credit or debit card. Also, transfers are instant if cash pickup is the preferred choice for the recipient. 

What payment methods can I use when sending money with PoaPay?

There are 2 available payment methods for PoaPay customers. The first is bank transfer using any major US bank. Please note you can only send money in USD using this method, and the transfer time will be between 2 – 5 business days. 

The second payment method is to fund your transfer via credit or debit card. You will need to use a Secure Code for this method, by simply entering your card details and choosing the amount you wish to send. There is an added fee for credit card payments. 

What are the best reasons to use PoaPay?

It is important to identify the top reasons to use an international money transfer service in order to find a suitable service that matches your intended use and desired features. 

One of PoaPay’s biggest attributes is the simple user interface and supported transfer corridors, which makes it easy for new users who are intimidated by the prospect of sending money online. 

It is also a good choice in cases where the recipient does not have a bank account because cash collection is offered across multiple locations around Kenya. Cash pick up transactions are instant which further adds to the convenience and enhanced accessibility of this service. 

The competitive exchange rate for USD/KES is another very good reason to use PoaPay, as most banks will apply a markup of 4 – 6% to this currency pairing, meaning both parties will lose money in the long run. 

Can I trust PoaPay?

PoaPay is a licensed company in the states that it operates in, in the United States: these include Alabama, New Jersey and Washington. Beyond these states, PoaPay has not yet been granted licensing, so the company is yet to expand outside of these regions. In addition to licensing, PoaPay transactions are also approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) a financial regulator overseen by U.S. Congress. 

Sophisticated security protocols are implemented across PoaPay services, when sending money with the company, and this includes 2-factor authentication. For instance, a Secure Code is required for all credit card transactions and this might be in the form of verification via mobile app or a code generator.

The customer service team at PoaPay is available via phone (1-205-267-6043) and email (customer_service@PoaPay.com) to help with queries, and there is a contact form on the company website.

What do users have to say about PoaPay?

On FaceBook, PoaPay has a customer review score of 4.6 out of 5 based on only 9 ratings. The people that recommend PoaPay note that the provider gets the job done, is reliable and easy to use. One unsatisfied user shared their experience of an unexpected account blocking, but did not explain how this came about. Overall, there are more positive reviews than negative ones, however there is a distinct lack of user feedback online, which suggests it is not a huge company. 

How to get started with PoaPay to send and receive money

We understand that getting started with a new money transfer service can seem daunting, so in this section we will cover the basics of sending and receiving money with PoaPay, to get you started. 

Sending money

  • Start by opening an account with PoaPay: you will need to provide a photo ID and verify the bank account you will be using for transfers
  • Enter the type of transfer and the recipient details: Choose the receiving currency from either USD or KES
  • Enter the transfer amount: Take note of the currency conversion provided, ensuring you are happy with the rate
  • Review the transfer details in full: Check to ensure all information is correct, before submitting the transaction

Receiving money

  • Open a PoaPay account and select how you would like to receive funds
  • For cash pick up you will need to visit the nearest PoaPay location and bring a government issued ID
  • For bank transfers you will need to enter the bank details of a Kenyan bank account and wait 2 – 5 business days to receive the money
  • You can contact customer service to receive the transaction tracking details

Does PoaPay have a mobile app?

PoaPay is one of the rare international money transfer services that does not have a mobile app and cannot be found on the Google Play or App Store platforms. This is a big disadvantage that limits PoaPay to desktop-use only. 

We understand that customers enjoy using mobile apps when executing international transfers and most of the leading money transfer companies, such as Wise, Xe, and WorldRemit, offer state of the art mobile applications for ease of use. 

Frequently asked about questions about PoaPay

Does PoaPay support cash transfers?

The recipient can get the fund using cash pick up. There are 4 cash pick up locations in Kenya, which are located in Kiambu, Nairobi, Kisii and Nakuru. Visit the closest one and do not forget to bring a government-issued ID. 

What currencies are available with PoaPay?

The sender can only use USD as the currency. The recipient can receive funds in KES or USD. However, if the recipient chooses to get money in USD, then there is a 3% added fee. 

Can you set up recurring payments with PoaPay?

No, PoaPay is used for single transfers. You must execute each transfer separately every time. 

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