Payment Gateways in Kenya

Kenya’s economy and its entry into the global financial market have seen revolutionary changes due to the swift expansion of the country’s online payments sector. The payment gateways in Kenya provide a range of options to accommodate different requirements, ranging from worldwide e-commerce to mobile money transfers. For businesses to grow and adapt to Kenya’s digital economy, they must comprehend the payment gateway problem. 

If you are looking for a comprehensive Kenyan payment outlook, check out our latest full expert article on Navigating Kenya’s Payments Landscape.

Online payment industry in Kenya

Online payments in Kenya have gained popularity due to the adoption of mobile technology and increased internet connectivity. The industry now takes place in a convenient and safe environment thanks to the banking system’s integration with online payment platforms in Kenya. The Central Bank of Kenya and the Government of Kenya developed a regulatory framework that guarantees the security and integrity of online transactions while also promoting the sector’s expansion.

Due to the increased demand for dependable and effective solutions brought about by the growth of e-commerce, payment service providers in Kenya have been searching for and implementing new solutions. 

The industry is also adopting new technologies, like contactless payments and QR codes, to keep up with global payment trends. Due to the fact that more people can now access banking and financial services, the expansion of the online payment industry has been instrumental in promoting financial inclusion. Kenya’s online payment industry is proof that the nation has risen to prominence in the global market thanks to its rapidly developing digital economy and rapid technological advancements.

If you are wondering how payment processor in Kenya works, visit our article How Payment Processing Works to find out.

What is a payment gateway, and why is it important for online businesses?

A payment gateway functions as a communication system, relaying transaction details between the customer and the merchant. It facilitates the processing of credit card and digital payments. 

While online Kenya payment gateways operate as cloud-based applications, those used in physical retail settings are typically integrated within Point of Sale (POS) systems.

Functioning as a conduit, payment gateway providers in Kenya link a business’s online platform with its payment processing service. During a purchase, this gateway safely transfers the customer’s payment details to the payment processor, thereby facilitating the completion of the transaction through authorization and settlement. Essentially, payment gateways in Kenya are the starting point of online financial transactions and the medium through which the outcome of these transactions is relayed to the customers.

Welcome to our article if you are looking for an answer to How a Payment Gateway Works.

A payment gateway plays a pivotal role in facilitating secure and efficient payment transactions for online businesses. Let’s go through several reasons why a payment gateway is important for the e-commerce industry.

Enhanced Security

Payment gateways employ advanced encryption technologies to secure sensitive customer information and accounts. Encryption ensures that data remains confidential and protected from unauthorized access. Fraud prevention measures are real-time transaction monitoring and recognition of suspicious activities that safes businesses and customers from fraudulent transactions.

Global Accessibility

Payment gateways give businesses the ability to accept payments from customers worldwide, breaking down geographical barriers. This global accessibility opens up new markets and opportunities for online businesses to grow and thrive.

Efficient Transactions

Payment gateways streamline the payment process, making transactions quick and efficient. This also reduces the likelihood of abandoned carts during the checkout process. Automated payment processing enhances efficiency and reduces the risk of errors in financial transactions from one account to another.

Multiple Payment Options

Payment gateways provide businesses with the flexibility to offer various payment options to customers. Whether it’s credit cards, debit cards, mobile payments, or alternative payment methods, businesses can cater to diverse customer preferences.

Types of Gateways for Online Payment Processing

Online payment gateways help us make payments online. Here are some types:

  1. Hosted Payment Gateways: These send your customers to another website to pay.
  2. Self-Hosted Payment Gateways: You gather payment details on your own website and then send them to the payment service. You have more control, but you need to make sure it’s very secure. Razorpay is one example.
  3. API-hosted payment gateways: These let you add payment features directly to your website or app, making paying easy and smooth.
  4. Local Bank Integration: This sends customers to their bank’s website to pay and then brings them back to your site. 
  5. Direct Post Method: This is like API-hosted gateways but simpler with rules. Payment information goes straight to the payment service.

How to launch a payment gateway in Kenya?

If you aim to tap into the rapidly advancing Kenyan payment market and capitalize on its growth, one approach is to develop a payment solution fully tailored to your needs from scratch. However, keep in mind that this route involves substantial costs and a significant time investment. Moreover, you’ll be responsible for ensuring your software complies with the regulatory framework outlined by the Central Bank of Kenya and other relevant authorities. This includes obtaining the necessary licenses and adhering to industry standards such as PCI DSS.

Alternatively, a more efficient option is to opt for a ready-to-use white-label solution that comes equipped with innovative payment features and supports multiple integrated payment methods. Fintech providers offer white-label payment systems designed for rebranding under the client’s logo and style, with the most popular ones being white-label payment gateways and payment orchestration platforms. These solutions come pre-equipped with the required licenses and certifications for operation in the regions where they are deployed. To establish a payment gateway in Kenya using a white-label system, you simply need to select a software provider, configure the system, choose banks and payment providers for transaction processing, brand the system under your own identity, and start your operations.

Online Payment Methods in Kenya

Online payment methods in Kenya have evolved significantly, offering a range of options for both consumers and businesses. Some of the most prominent methods include:

Equity Bank

Initially founded in 1984 as a company specializing in mortgage finance for low-income groups and SMEs, Equity Bank has evolved significantly over time. It started as a microfinance institution before transforming into a full-service bank by 2004, becoming Kenya’s second-largest bank in terms of size. With operations in six nations throughout East Africa, Equity Bank is now regarded as one of the major financial institutions in the region. Learn more about Equity Bank here.

Craft Silicon

Kenya-based Craft Silicon is an expert in developing software solutions for emerging markets’ BFSI (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance) industry. A wide range of software solutions, including electronic payment systems, mobile banking, microfinance management software, and core banking software, are offered by the company. The Banker Realm Electronic Fund Transfer (BREFT) switch technology, which facilitates communication with various business channels and core banking systems, is one of their primary offerings.


PesaPal was founded in 2009 and has since become a trusted name among payment service providers in Kenya. PesaPal has a diverse range of services, such as facilitating mobile payments, helping businesses accept payments online, and efficient invoicing processes. Additionally, PesaPal steps into physical stores by providing POS solutions, ensuring that businesses can securely accept card payments


DPO, also known as Direct Pay Online, has a significant presence in Kenya. Direct Pay Online was established in 2006 and has expanded its services to multiple African countries. They offer e-commerce solutions to businesses helping to set up and optimize their online sales platforms. DPO contributes to recurring billing and subscription management for businesses with subscription models.

How Akurateсo can help you with Kenya payment gateway integration.

Akurateco, a payment software provider, offers a branded platform that equips users with a fully operational white-label PCI DSS-compliant gateway. It not only functions as a direct payment gateway but as a hub with over 300 integrations to worldwide banks and payment systems, all consolidated within one interface. This feature facilitates the easy integration of various payment providers for businesses, thereby fostering expansion. 

Advantages of Solutions from Akurateco

The following are some of the main benefits that Akurateco’s solutions offer to improve the efficacy and efficiency of online payment systems in Kenya:

  1. Quick and Easy Onboarding: The platform ensures seamless integration with clients’ systems by guaranteeing a speedy and easy onboarding process.
  2. Customized Checkout Experiences: With the help of Akurateco’s solutions, clients can have customized checkout processes that satisfy their needs and boost user satisfaction.
  3. Fraud Prevention: One of the main concerns when doing business online is fraud, which can be avoided with the help of features on the platform.
  4. Control Over Payment Flow: By giving users command over the payment flow, Akurateco enables efficient management and oversight of transactions.
  5. Intelligent Routing and Cascading Feature: This feature enables users to route and distribute transactions based on predefined rules, optimizing the payment process and enhancing efficiency.


Here, you’ll find concise and informative answers to some of the most common queries about payment methods in Kenya.

Which payment gateway is best in Kenya? 

In Kenya, the choice of the best payment gateway often depends on specific business needs and customer preferences. The most popular ones are those that offer a combination of reliability, wide acceptance, and ease of use, often integrating seamlessly with mobile money services

What is the payment service provider in Kenya?

Kenya boasts a diverse range of payment service providers, catering to various financial needs. Key among these are mobile money platforms. Additionally, there are online payment gateways and traditional banking services, offering a mix of modern and conventional payment solutions.

What is the most popular payment method in Kenya?

In Kenya, M-Pesa stands out as the preferred payment method for a vast majority of people. The mobile payment system in question has become widely favored for its ability to manage a range of transactions, from fund transfers to bill payments and retail purchases.

How secure are online transactions made through Kenyan payment gateways?

Transactions conducted online via Kenyan payment systems are typically safe, supported by stringent regulatory guidelines and monitored by Kenya’s Central Bank. These systems incorporate strong security protocols, including data encryption and dual-step verification, ensuring the protection of user information and financial activities. 

How can I integrate a payment gateway into my e-commerce platform in Kenya? 

To integrate the best payment gateway in Kenya into your e-commerce platform, you have several options available. However, the most effective approach is to use Akurateco, a payment orchestration platform. The service provides customized options that easily work with different online shopping platforms, making sure your business’s payment process is smooth and safe.

Can international customers make payments on Kenyan platforms?

Yes, users from other countries are able to make payments on Kenyan platforms. Numerous payment gateways in Kenya are integrated with international services like PayPal and support international card transactions. This facilitates cross-border payments by allowing users from various countries to transact with ease.

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