Mobile Payment Services


Do you sell products online?

How are your customers paying for the products they buy on your website?

Mobile money transfer services such as Mpesa have transformed the lives of millions of Kenyans and frankly, it has changed the way we conduct business in East Africa.

The mobile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa has continued to scale rapidly, reaching 367 million subscribers in mid-2015. It is safe to say that the mobile economy has arrived with Kenya leading the world in offering convenient mobile payment services.

Over a year ago I wrote an article on How To Add Payment Utilities To Your Website and it has since done very well for the organic Google search terms “how to add Mpesa payment services to your website” ranking me as number two in the SERP’s.

Mobile Payment Services
Screenshot of Search Results of the “Long Tail Keywords”


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Reading that post again today I recognize that I should have done a more in-depth review of the tools, plugins, and extensions of some of those services mentioned in that post.

This article intends to do exactly that, I will give you a step by step guide on how to conveniently add online mobile payment utilities to your website, how to accept and get paid directly to your mobile phone from your WordPress website.

Select Your Online eCommerce Platform

So first things first you need to find a platform that you will use to sell your products online.

As an entrepreneur living in Africa, I’ll assume your main target audience will be from here as well, but that is not always the case for some businesses. It makes sense to have your customers conveniently shop and pay for your products online.

Self-hosted websites offer you more flexibility and give you the ability to modify your store live in an environment. I would definitely recommend you go this route as opposed to choosing online store platforms.

There are a number of things you need to consider when making when selecting your online platform:

  • How long will it take to setup and get started?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Are the pages mobile optimized? Can my customers shop from their mobile devices?
  • Can the platform work with other software solutions and providers?
  • How flexible is the product catalog?

WordPress is an awesome platform to get started with, the learning curve is not steep and there are a ton of great resources online that can help you set up your  first online store in literally minutes.

The platform has a database of thousands of plugins which you can adapt to suit your individual needs.

WooCommerce : Setup Your Online Store Hustle Free

WooCommerce is a free plugin from WordPress that allows you to setup your eCommerce store on your website.

This plugin makes it super simple to add products, change the prices and publish on your website pages. I once used this plugin for my resources page and I found it very easy to use.

Obviously, this is not the only e-commerce plugin available but it the most recommended and the most popular WordPress plugin for eCommerce solutions.

Recommended Read: 37 Essential WordPress Plugins To Boost Your Website.

Popular Online Payment Gateways To Consider

So now that you’ve set up your store it’s time to choose your payment method.

Payment Gateways are simply online payment software solutions that enable your customers to not only pay with international money transfer services such as Visa, Paypal or Mastercard but also have the option to pay using the various mobile money services available locally.

Unlike other countries on the continent, Kenya, and some other East African countries are positioned well for online payments in that governments have not imposed regulations limiting online payments.


There are a couple of things you need to consider before choosing your preffered online payment gateway:

  • Is the Payment Gateway supported by your eCommerce Platform for example WooCommerce?
  • Does the Payment Gateway support the payments methods your ideal market uses?
  • What is the reputation of the company?
  • What are their fees?
  • Do you want a payment gateway and merchant account or an all-in-one payment service provider?
  • Do you want customers to enter their payment details directly on your site?

JamboPay: East Africa’s eCommerce Giants

Mobile Payment Services

JamboPay is a Kenyan company. They are East Africa’s online payment giants who have dominated the market with their innovative approach to online payment services

If you looking for a local company that can provide you with tailored payment services, then you should consider using JamboPay.

The setup fee for an individual is account is free, you customers have an option to pay via Airtel Money or Mpesa.

Assuming that you’ve already installed Woocommerce on your WordPress website, the company has a plugin that allows you to use Jambopay Online Payment Gateways on your Woocommerce store via Mpesa, VISA Cards, Mastercard, Airtel Money.

Mobile Payment Services

Jambopay WooCommerce Payment Gateway Plugin 

The plugin is available for all WooCommerce users, you can find it in the WordPress Plugins Repository database.

With this Jambopay WooCommerce Payment Gateway plugin, you will be able to accept the following payment methods in your shop:

  • Kenswitch
  • Airtel Money
  • Yu Cash
  • MasterCards
  • Visa Card

Important To Note: This Plugin has not been updated in over two years and may compatibility using issues with some of the recent versions of WordPress

PesaPal: Make Online and Mobile Payments


Mobile Payment Services

Pesapal is a Kenyan company that has equally dominated the East African market with their online and mobile payment services.

I would recommend PesaPal over JamboPay for the main reason that they regularly update their WordPress plugin which is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Pesapal Gateway for Woocommerce

With Over 500+ installs and 5 Star ratings, it’s safe to say that this plugin is quite popluar.A

Again an easy to use plugin that you can install to your WordPress Dashboard and each integrate it with your eCommerce platform such as Woocommerce.

PesaPal Pay

Mobile Payment Services Image 2

This is yet another plugin from the company that allows you to conveniently integrate to your website to handle payment processes.

Has over 200+ downloads with 5 star ratings, the main features of this plugin are:

  • Set up PesaPal credentials
  • Set up fields to be captured
  • Log PesaPal transactions
  • Allows calling of a function before the pesapal transaction
  • Accept Donations
  • Automatically add the PesaPal Pay button on any post of page using a meta box

Take Home

The internet has revolutionized the way we do business in Africa and with the continual rise in internet use, good connectivity, and penetration e-commerce in Kenya has become an important vehicle to generating wealth.

As a business owner you need to look for different ways of staying competitive and one of the ways to achieve this is by allowing your customers to conveniently pay for the goods they purchase directly from their mobile phone.

As the world catches up to Kenya in offering mobile payment services we have a unique opportunity to position ourselves in the world through offering innovative online payment solutions.




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Catherine Mong’ina is the Founder and CEO of E-Technology Africa, a digital marketing agency based in Nairobi, Kenya offering social media, S.E.O, website and app development services. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases you search visibility.


  1. Hi Catherine, how are you?

    I have a problem and hoping you can assist.

    I ran a website that helps people to easily find a venue for their event. Such as for a birthday, photo shoot, baby shower, seminar, team building, wedding, etc.

    I now need to restrict access to premium content / make the site a membership site.

    I have built my website using WordPress as I am not a web developer.

    There are very many plugins that I can use to restrict content / have paid membership. The challenge I am having is that most of them do not integrate with an online payment gateway from Kenya.

    The one plugin that I found (Paid Membership Pro) has an addon plugin that can connect it to WooCommerce so that payments can be accepted this way. I already have WooCommerce installed plus it is integrated with PesaPal.

    The issue now is, that this plugin and the add on are not compatible with the new version of WordPress. I avoid installing plugins that are not compatible as in the past, they make my site crash.

    Now to my help question, would you know a plugin that I can use to restrict content / have a paid membership site that the online payment gateway used is available in Kenya and includes mpesa?

    If not, is there someone you know you can ask?

    Thank you for any help you can provide.

    • Hi Irene,

      I appreciate the time you took to write about this I hope to do justice by giving you some valuable feedback.

      Memberships Website’s have been a topic I have been wanting to write about for quite a while but I’ve never gotten an opportunity to do so. It’s actually a coincidence that I will be posting my first article on this tomorrow be sure to watch out for it.

      You mentioned you have tried quite a number of membership plugins do you mind mentioning some of them? My readers and I would greatly benefit from this information.

      Your problem is quite unique and one that I fully intend to solve. For starters you don’t need Woocommerce on your website if your goal is to just run a membership website. What you need is a membership plugin / tool that can have your payment solution integrated into it.

      I would suggest that you try Wishlist Member ( ). It’s a premium membership tool but they offer a simple integration option which can be used with payment providers not listed in their full integration list. The great thing about this tool is they offer Unlimited support and a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee so if they can’t integrate pesapal you will be given 100% refund.

      I would highly recommend Wishlist Member but it always good to have options so here are other tools I dug up not sure if you’ve used any of these before:

      > S2 Member ( )
      > Optimize Member ( )

      Full disclosure I have not used any of the tools mentioned but after reading a lot of material on them they should work perfectly in your case.

      Let me know if you run into any trouble and how it works out for you.

      Thanks again for sharing ????????????



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