How to pay for Facebook Ads via MPESA and Chura Virtual Card

Slightly over a year ago I wrote an article explaining how one can pay for Facebooks Ads straight from MPESA. After writing the article, it didn’t take long before Facebook disallowed linking Facebook Ads to a PayPal account that wasn’t linked to a credit/debit card or a bank account, then later Chura, the platform through which one could transfer funds from MPESA to PayPal, was disallowed from operating MPESA to PayPal transactions. Shortly after Chura was disallowed from doing the MPESA to PayPal transactions they came up with a smarter way that can allow you to pay for Facebook Ads via MPESA.

Before I tell you how to navigate the murky waters of paying for Facebook ads via MPESA, allow me to state that Safaricom should move with speed and partner with Facebook so that Facebook can acquire either a Lipa na MPESA till number or a Pay Bill number through which we can make direct payments for those Facebook Ads – just as they partnered with Google to allow for paying for premium apps at Play Store directly from MPESA. This is because right now the number of service fees we must pay to third party apps like Chura, PayPal and MPESA itself is making the transactions unnecessarily expensive. For example, although one may doesn’t pay anything to MPESA for transferring money from his MPESA wallet to Chura debit card, Chura charges Kshs 70 per transaction, and at the same time charges $1.5 (around Kshs 160) monthly maintenance fees for the Chura debit card. Factor in the amount of money you’ll have to pay to PayPal if you decide to effect your Facebook Ads payments through PayPal. The fact that there is no direct way to Pay for Facebook ads via MPESA may not be Safaricom’s fault, as according to this article that has just been published by the Standard, the multinationals are the ones making the move to integrate MPESA as one of their payment options. This I believe is the case, but I think Safaricom can make the approaches required to convince the multinationals to move fast in doing MPESA integration in their payment platforms.

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Having gotten that out of the way, this is how you can now pay for Facebook ads via MPESA

The first thing you need to have is to apply for a Chura Debit card. At launch, the Chura Debit Card was a virtual Mastercard, but according to a recent email sent to users, Chura is set to change card providers by 1st April 2018. Applications for new virtual debit cards were therefore put on hold – even though the process for applying for a new Chura Virtual Card still seems to work.

Secondly, and after you have successfully applied for your Chura Virtual Card, you can link that card to your Facebook ads account or, if you prefer making payments via PayPal, link it to paypal. There is one very important distinct advantage why you may want to use the Chura Virtual Card as opposed to linking your bank card to Facebook or Paypal: There are several hackers lurking online salivating to access your bank account. The easiest getway they have is when you store you card’s information on a browser’s cookies. As much as many attempt to browse incognito when doing online banking, once in a while someone may forget and “remember” the cards PIN and password in a browser that a hacker can easily access through phishing. Secondly, for Facebook and other platforms to deduct the required amount from the card, you need to trust them with your card’s details – I can’t trust them with details that take them directly to my bank account. Chura Virtual Card addresses these concerns as you only load the card with exact amount you need to spend on Facebook ads or elsewhere, and maintain close to zero balance after you have made the transaction. There is no time you’ll be required to link the Chura Virtual Card to your bank account.

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Although I highly recommend Chura Virtual Card to anyone, I must confess that I have been able to use the virtual card only ones. Since then I haven’t been able to reload the card with cash as every time I try, the card says that I have exhausted my daily load limits. I think it’s an error I need to sort out by calling their customer care, but I am not in a hurry.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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