Some time ago Ecocash announced that they had reached a partnership that allows PayPal users to send money directly to Ecocash users in Zimbabwe. There was a lot of excitement as most people thought the method meant that Zimbabweans would finally be able to receive PayPal payments through their Ecocash USD wallets. Sadly this is not the case. Zimbabwean PayPal accounts can still only send money but not receive it. Even if you follow a workaround that allows you to create a PayPal business account that can receive PayPal payments, you cannot withdraw this balance into your bank account or Ecocash USD wallet.
To be clear Zimbabwean PayPal accounts cannot receive PayPal payments and even if you create a business account that does allow you to receive payments you cannot liquidate the balance without sending it to someone in a country where PayPal allows them to do so. While Ecocash has partnered with Xoom a money transfer service that allows you to send money using PayPal, you cannot use a Zimbabwean account to send money via Xoom.
How Xoom works?
Xoom is a money remittance much like Mukuru and WorldRemit. While most allow you to pay for your order using a bank transfer or Visa/MasterCard, Xoom allows you to send money directly from PayPal. In other words when you create an order to send money to someone you can pay using Visa/MasterCard or uniquely your PayPal balance.
Xoom is available to users who have PayPal accounts in the US, Canada, United Kingdom and European Union. Here is a full list of countries that you can send money from:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- European Economic Area countries and regions:
- Czech Republic
- French Guiana
- Isle of Man
The majority of Zimbabwean diasporans live in South Africa and unfortunately, that means they cannot use Xoom to send money to Zimbabweans living in Zimbabwe. Just to reiterate if you have a Zimbabwean PayPal account you cannot send money to someone via Xoom only people who live in the above territories can. This essentially means that if you do have a PayPal balance there is still no way to liquidate it except using creative methods such as sending it to a friend in one of these countries. If you are in South Africa you have to withdraw the money via FNB as per South African Reserve Bank regulations.
Xoom supports Ecocash and ZB Bank
While it is gaining so much attention because of the partnership with Ecocash, Xoom as always been around as they had a partnership with ZB Bank. You can send money and your recipient can either collect cash at ZB Bank branches or receive the money into their Ecocash USD wallet. Cashing out of Ecocash involves more charges so unless there is a reason not to, you should always select the ZB Bank option.