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Using PayPal from Zimbabwe: Introduction

   

In this series we will look at how to buy and sell using PayPal from Zimbabwe.

Update: Recently, PayPal contacted our webhosts with a request to take down this page because it “uses our trademarks inappropriately.” We assumed they meant their logo and not all the content on the page. We have therefore removed the paypal logo and replaced it with the picture below.

paymentsAlmost everyone of our readers knows how difficult it is to use PayPal to make payments from Zimbabwe. In fact not so long ago it was not even possible to access and use the PayPal website from within Zimbabwe without using some sort of proxy or VPN. After several months of research I am pleased to announce I have come with a viable work around on how to use PayPal to make purchases and sell from Zimbabwe.

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PayPal is a subsidiary of Ebay.com that processes online payments for a lot of merchants. It is easily the most popular online payment processor. For example on Ebay.com it is extremely difficult to find merchants that accept any other form of payment. PayPal has however obstinately ignored the Zimbabwean market citing “sanctions.” If you attempt to sign up you will notice that Zimbabwe along with other countries such as Pakistan, Iraq and Bangladesh are not available which makes me seriously doubt the sanctions reason. Even if you were to put a false address once you have signed up your Zimbabwean issued Visa/MasterCard cannot be added to your new account.

Synopsis of the problems.
To open and operate a PayPal account you need to overcome the following problems:

  • Get a valid address that will be accepted by PayPal. In order to avoid a ban by PayPal this needs to be from the same country as your card/ bank account’s billing address.

  • Get a card that is accepted by PayPal. It has been said that BancABC cards are issued from Botswana and can therefore be used with PayPal. I must confess that although I have an account with them I have never tried it. I would recommend using the Payoneer card which you can get for free.

  • Payoneer prevents you from loading your card privately so you need to find acceptable ways to load the card. I would recommend Skrill.

Legality
PayPal does not preclude Zimbabweans from using PayPal per se they merely do not accept use by people in “sanctioned countries.” For example PayPal happily accepts the patronage of those in the Diaspora even though they are Zimbabweans. It would seem that the billing address you use in your account is key. I have successfully used PayPal using my acquired address for a while now and have not had any problems with PayPal.

Need
PayPal is one of the most popular means of payment and for some sites like Ebay.com there is simplily no alternative. Whilst we have written on how to accept payments from PayPal most of us have been left out of certain deals because we could not make payments using PayPal. Also ever since the closure of Google Checkout it has become increasingly difficult to find acceptable means of payment that Zimbabweans can use. Payza also does not accept Zimbabweans and Bitpay’s exchange rates are always fluctuating it’s like buying using the old Zimdollar.

It the next instalment we’ll look at how you can obtain a Payoneer card and appropriate billing address.

image via: treasurer.org.cn


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