Kenyan users of PayPal, mostly freelancers, developers and remote workers, have expressed concern of PayPal holding funds in their accounts.
PayPal normally holds funds due to transactions it deems suspicious however Kenyans offering legitimate services online end up unable to access payments made by clients to their PayPal accounts. The trigger was raised by Kenyan tech entrepreneur Sam Gichuru, who called for people who have had this issue with PayPal to join him in suing the payments company.
On his tweet about this, Sam also did a survey that revealed that there’s quite a substantial amount of money that PayPal has withheld. The survey had 44.1 percent of respondents claim that they have more than $5000 withheld in their PayPal accounts.
Are Kenyans still struggling to withdraw their money from @paypal?
I am. It’s been over 2 years.
If I get 10 people, I am happy to start a joint legal process.
— Sam Gichuru❤️ (@SamGichuru) July 9, 2023
This seems to be a problem, that PayPal should anticipate to land on their desks in the near future. Most people who expressed their complaints about this issue said that the Total amount of money PayPal has frozen in Kenyan accounts can be a very huge amount. 34.6 percent of respondents claim that PayPal has withheld their money for over 6 months. Actually, in some cases, these account holders never access the funds at all.
The US-based company’s decisions to hold funds have seen numerous Kenyans fail to pay crucial bills. PayPal, on the other hand, states that it only holds payments when “there’s a higher than average risk associated with the payment”.
Gichuru disclosed that he would bring on board lawyers to take the suit forward. He revealed that he had personally faced a fruitless pursuit of his funds on PayPal for the past two years.
According to the Online Labour Index (OLI), an economic indicator that measures the global online gig economy, Kenya accounts for 1% of the world’s online freelance workforce, ranking 15th overall and second only to Egypt in Africa. About 70% of online freelancers in Kenya offer writing and translation services. This explains why many Kenyans use PayPal to receive payments for the services they offer digitally to clients around the world.