If you are a Kenyan bettor, you have probably already used or at least heard of M-Pesa. As it has grown significantly in the last few years, almost every Kenyan betting site that legally operates in the country provides it as a payment option. Founded in 2007, by Safaricom (a subsidiary of Vodafone), it has since become the most widely used mobile payment method in Kenya and the African continent. It has an immense impact on the Kenyan economy as almost half of the country’s GDP was processed over M-Pesa.
As the most popular payment service in Kenya, it has paired up with some of the most reputable bookmakers. In our detailed guide, you will be able to gain insight into all M-Pesa aspects:
ᐉ An up-to-date (2023) list of M-Pesa bookmakers that offer a welcome bonus
ᐉ A detailed description of using M-Pesa and depositing to your preferred bookmaker
ᐉ All the advantages and disadvantages of MPesa betting sites
Best M-Pesa Sports Betting Sites
Our top-rated international betting sites that accept M-Pesa offer to players unique bonuses, instant withdrawals and low fees. Go ahead and try them out to make the most of your betting activity.
How to bet with M-Pesa
It is straightforward to deposit money with M-Pesa. All you need is a Vodafone or Safaricom mobile number and visit one of the 400.000 retailers across Africa. After you provide your ID, your mobile number will be linked to a mobile money account. That’s all. Now, you can charge your account by following the steps below.
- Visit an M-Pesa retailer
- Inform them about the amount you want to deposit
- Once finished, you will get a text message, confirming the payment
Simple and easy. Depositing to your favorite M-Pesa bookmakers is just as quick and effortless:
- Launch the M-Pesa app on your phone
- Tap on ‘’Lipa Na M-PESA”
- Select ‘’Pay Bill’’
- Enter the bookmaker’s Paybill number
- Do the same with your account number or username on your bookie and the amount you want to deposit
- Enter the M-Pesa PIN
- When the payment is complete, you will receive a text message on your phone
And you are ready to bet with M-Pesa. When you want to receive your winnings, you select ‘’Withdraw’’ from the banking page of your betting site and select the amount. Then fill out your M-Pesa number, and once the process is complete, the funds will be in your mobile account instantly.
How to bet in Paybill
Each bookmaker that operates in Kenya has a unique number that is called Paybill. It is used to the M-Pesa app as an identifier of the merchant that you want to send funds to. Every transaction that goes through M-Pesa requires a Paybill number to complete. In the following table you can find all Paybill numbers for M-Pesa betting sites.
|Bookmaker||Min. Deposit /
|1xBet||KES 112 - 225||290011||Visit 1XBet|
|22Bet||KES 112 - 225||895599||Visit 22Bet|
|Melbet||KES 112 - 225||5151511||Visit Melbet|
|Betwinner||KES 112 - 225||998989||Visit Betwinner|
Why choose an M-Pesa betting site
Betting with M-Pesa has revolutionized the way players deposit to bookmakers. Among the advantages of using that payment are convenience, reliability, and the massive availability. However, the most significant benefits are the following:
✔Banking services without an account or credit card: Bettors can deposit and withdraw to a Safaricom betting site without resorting to a banking institution. This means that they can avoid all the hassle of creating a bank account.
✔ Available in a vast network of retailers: More than 400.000 agents operate throughout Africa and process payments.
✔ Eligible for Welcome offers: There are no restrictions regarding the Welcome Bonus. If you deposit to an M-Pesa betting site, you can claim sign up promos.
✔ Ease of use: A visit to a retailer is enough for payments to go through.
✔ Handy mobile app: A fast and convenient application lets you check your balance on the go.
Why you should avoid an M-Pesa betting site
❌ Low limits for deposits: Even after the recent amendments, the maximum daily amount transaction limit stands at 150.000 KES. That is considered relatively small for high rollers.
❌ Transaction fees: Payments are subject to certain charges, and that can be high if you use M-Pesa daily.
❌ Not so popular in bookmakers: Since this payment option operates mainly in Kenya, there is a lack of Mpesa bookmakers, especially international ones..
❌ Vulnerable to scams: Several members have fallen to scams, such as receiving calls or text messages that someone has mistakenly sent them money and asking for a refund.
Now that we have taken a look at all pros and cons and how to bet on M-Pesa sports betting sites it is also crucial to learn why it is safe and legal to deposit with it. Also, we will see in which countries the payment operates and if there are any good alternatives.
Is M-Pesa legal and safe?
Safaricom owns M-Pesa. The company’s headquarters are in Nairobi, Kenya. The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is the primary regulatory authority. The Central Bank of Kenya authorized the Mobile money transfers and the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) is responsible for gambling-related issues.
Regarding safety, before you proceed with any transaction, you need to enter your PIN code. Account-holders can set as an extra step before they make a transaction to be requested for ID details to ensure the safety of the transfer. Moreover, users can check their M-Pesa balance through an SMS system and ask for proof of transaction.
M-Pesa fees for deposits and withdrawals
Transactions with M-Pesa above a certain amount are subject to fees. However, they are pretty low if you consider other payment methods. The amount of M-Pesa rates fluctuates with the sum of funds.
Topping up your account is always free, withdrawal fees start at 10 KES for payouts above 50 KES. Transfer money to unregistered users will cost you 45 KES for 101 KES - 500 KES, and to registered users, the charges start at 1001 KES. Mpesa withdrawal charges start at 100 KES with 34 KES.
You can find all the fees in detail here: https://www.safaricom.co.ke/personal/m-pesa/getting-started/m-pesa-rates
Established in Kenya, the country still acts as the primary market for M-Pesa. More than half of the country's citizens use it for every kind of payment. However, it has recently expanded to other countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Ethiopia and Tanzania. A total of 37 million people are active users of the service, and the company is looking to launch to other continents as well.
With such an extensive presence in Kenya, M-Pesa has dominated the country for more than a decade. However, it still lacks a breakthrough in the gambling market. Therefore players might need to look elsewhere for their betting needs.
A great alternative would be e-wallets. It is effortless to deposit from M-Pesa to Neteller; you just need to change the default currency to KES. Also, the same applies to payments from M-Pesa to Skrill. Deposit in KES to your wallet with your Paybill number and the amount will reflect instantly.
Another upcoming payment method is Sticpay that it is an e-wallet that comes with multiple benefits. Sticpay bookmakers allow betting in your local currency, instant transactions and under the radar activity. By this time, not many bookies accept it and the Sticpay card comes with high fees.
Is betting with M-Pesa worth it
With a dominant presence in the Kenyan market, more bookmakers consider including M-Pesa as a banking option. It is the most convenient option for bettors in Kenya with wide merchant availability and instant transactions. However, there is still a significant absence of M-Pesa bookmakers. Only a handful offer it as a payment method, a very limiting factor to the player. On top of that, there are frequent reports of scams related to M-Pesa, making someone concerned about his funds' safety.
To sum up, until M-Pesa gets a broader availability to operators and improves security, bettors in Kenya better use a wallet such as Skrill or Neteller.
Complete list of bookmakers with M-Pesa
International betting sites that accept M-Pesa offer quick transactions and high odds on football markets. Pick your preferable bookmaker from the list below and make the most of your deposits.
It links your mobile number to a mobile money account, allowing you to top up your account by visiting one of the 400.000 retailers.
The process requires you to visit an authorized agent, tell him the amount you want to deposit and pay the agent in cash. You will receive an SMS as soon the transaction is completed.
The 1xBet Paybill number is 290011. You can use it in the M-Pesa app to complete a payment to the operator and start betting.
Yes, you can link both accounts and transfer money to each one. The process can take from 2 hours to 3 business days. All you need to know is 800088 as the Paybill number, to fill out on the M-Pesa form.
Currently, it operates in 7 countries: Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Lesotho, South Africa, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Tanzania. It also plans to expand operations to more countries in the following years.
It is possible to do it. However, it is not guaranteed that the payment will be canceled. You can call the M-Pesa call center on 234, and they will request the agent to cancel the transaction. This can take 24-48 hours.