Using PayPal in Zimbabwe: The Final Piece of the puzzle.

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In our previous article in the series on how to use PayPal in Zimbabwe we talked about how you can get a legitimate U.S address and a prepaid debit card from Payoneer which you can use with PayPal. The problem however is that you cannot load money directly onto your Payoneer card unless your card is already actively receiving money from other Payoneer partners such as To overcome this you need to sign up for Skrill and load the Payoneer card from within Skrill.

Preparing the Payoneer Card

  • Once you have received the card via mail or courier you will need to activate it before you can start using it.

  • To activate the card log into your Payoneer account and follow the instructions. During this process you will also be required to choose a four digit pin that you can use with the card at ATMs and cash registers. Try and choose a pin that scammers will not find easy to guess.You should also try and change your pin regularly.

  • To be able to load money onto your card you will need to apply for the United States Payment Service. Details are available here. To apply for the service you just need to log into your Payoneer account and send the support staff a message telling them that you want to join USPS.

  • If you have not already done so, you will need to open a PayPal account using the U.S. address that you got from in the previous article.

Get a Skrill Account

  • Sign up for a Skrill (formerly Moneybookers) account preferably using your actual local Zimbabwean address.

  • Add your local Bank account and credit cards to your Skrill account.

  • You can load money into your Skrill account either using your Visa/MasterCard ( this will incur a charge of 1.9% and the maximum amount per load is around $330) or International Wire Transfer (you will need to find out the SWIFT charges from your bank but using this method you can load unlimited amounts.)

  • Add your Payoneer Card to your Skrill account.

  • Withdraw the amount onto your Payoneer Card.

The Final steps.

  • Once the withdrawn amount is reflected in your Payoneer account you should sign into your PayPal account and add your Payoneer card.

  • Follow the given instructions to verify your PayPal account using your Payoneer card.

  • Once the amount is reflected in your Payoneer account you can now make PayPal purchases.


  • If get stuck on any of these steps you should carefully read the relevant FAQs or contact Payoneer support.
  • This suggested work around is perfectly legitimate so you can freely contact Payoneer’s support without fear.
  • Be very mindful of the charges involved in using the Payoneer card .The following fees are applicable:
    1. Annual Card Charge $29.95
    2. ATM withdrawal $3.45 per transaction
    3. Declined withdrawal $1
    4. Purchases Free
    5. ATM balance enquiry $1

N.B Apart from the ATM balance enquiry charge nothing is out of the ordinary here when compared to local charges. My bank charges me $25/annum as an annual card charge as well as $5 per month in account maintenance fees so despite the fiction that has been perpetuated by some the fees that Payoneer charges are pretty much standard for world class banks. Perhaps you need to carefully look at your bank statement next time.

In the next installment we will look at some tweaks and tricks that you can do using this set up.


  1. TichM

    thanks for this info

  2. kthaker

    wow, what a mission! thanks for the info anyway. i think im more inclined to bug and pester paypal directly until i get a definitive answer on why they dont allow transactions from zim. you’d be surprised just how negligent or uninformed some US based companies are on “sanctions”.

    1. Chinos

      The cost of ensuring that there are no sanctioned individuals utilizing the platform is the greatest concern for them relative to the gain of entering the market. Hence their stance not to offer their services in specific countries.
      Otherwise quit pestering them while your ahead. When they realize some other alternative platforms are taking up accounts from Emerging and Undeveloped Countries that is most likely when they will consider your plea.

      1. tinm@n

        Well said.

        I would also not leave alot of funds in the PayPal account opened in this manner. If PayPal decided to be heavy handed as usual,ull b left in a fix.

        I used to freelance online before the sanctions and used my PayPal account for transactions.It was not a pleasant experience to have services and the money withheld.

        So use it as a transit account.Withdraw immediately if receiving or use the money u put into it for its purpose.

        Make it a transit account of sorts

        1. Garikai

          Thanks for the great advice @99cc7ce3550f7e6b3e22161a5bcdb561:disqus I will incorporate this in the next article on tips and tricks.

  3. Patrice Elias

    Quite interesting way of getting round the brick walls! Just out of interest why do people need PayPal anyway? Is it to receive international payments, buy goods online, or other?

    Reason why I ask is because perhaps when the needs are considered in total there maybe a way to pressure financial institutions to buckle. Econet is very innovative and daring and they have international partners. Are they not allowing diasporians to buy air time? Maybe it’s just my narrow mind polluted by too many years in the diaspora, but I hate enriching former slave masters or their cousins! Just thought to throw the last one in there!

    1. Garikai

      For me its and server resellers who only accept PayPal. I like the idea of local companies weighing in.

  4. Patrice Elias

    I’ve gone back to read your first article which give some insight into why one may need a Paypal account. All the same perhaps you and the readers can expand on that still.

    1. Sekuru

      Easy for you to say.

  5. Sekuru


  6. Mvuu

    Good stuff Limbikani – a true commercial investigator….