This article is inspired by my 3-week struggle to verify a Payoneer account for a close friend. Three weeks of trying to convince Payoneer that in Kenya, most people use P.O. Box addresses to get their documents, and thus, they ought to consider accepting P.O. Boxes
I discussed with more than 5 customer care agents, most of them were very nice. They tried to explain to me how their rules work and what I needed to do. Two even promised to escalate my issue because they understood my issue. But again, I didn’t get any help. One was extremely irrational and none sympathetic.
Anyway, I learned from this experience that if you want your Payoneer account verified without much hustle, just give them what they want.
A utility bill showing your residential address (legit or not). Utility Bills include; Electricity Bill, Water Usage Bill, Internet Bill, etc. For instance, this KPLC bill.
If you are a Kenyan citizen, you know how we get our letters, right! Through a Posta Address. Utility bills are sent to us through these addresses. Some people might be having residential addresses, especially those in well-planned affluent estates.
But most of us use P.O. Box addresses. Hence, utility bills will have the P.O. Box addresses displayed. But Payoneer wants Residential addresses. So you are forced to create Utility Bills that display a residential address.
Legit or not, that’s the only way your Payoneer account will be verified unless they change their verification policies to allow P.O. Box Verification.
So here is how to get this done
Step 1: Choose Your Residential Address.
Visit Google Maps and Zoom in to your location (or any location with labeled Roads)
Make sure the location has a well-labeled road which, if searched on google maps, will be found as shown in the image above: Mwingi Road, Nairobi, Kenya.
Step 2: Compose Arbitrary Residential Address
Come up with an arbitrary address that follows Payoneer’s billing address format:
- Address Line 1
- Address Line 2
- Postal/ZIP Code
For Address Line 1, write down the Road. In my case, I’ll write Mwingi Road.
For Address Line 2, write down an arbitrary apartment name and room number. For instance, Upstate Apartments Room 25
For City/Town, write down the City or Town in which the Road you chose exists. In my case; Nairobi
For Zip Code, enter the city’s Zip Code, I.e., 00100
Lastly, for Country, Write Kenya
Step 3: Update Payoneer Billing Address
- Log into your Payoneer Account
- Go to Setting and select Profile Setting
- Scroll Down to Address and Click on Edit.
- Input the address we have just generated as it is. Be careful not to make any spelling mistakes. It should look like this.
- Counter-check and click on Save.
Step 4: Create the Utility Document or Buy one.
If you are computer savvy, you can start by searching and downloading a Utility bill in PDF format from the internet. Then using an application like Adobe Photoshop to edit it.
When editing the document, Ensure that the following.
- The address you use matches the address you’ve created above. If your utility bill address does not match the billing address EXACTLY, you risk having your verification disapproved.
- The name you use in the address matches your Payoneer address. If they don’t match, you might not get verified.
- All the dates indicated in the document must be within the last three months, and they all must be coherent. Referring to the sample KPLC bill, if your Date of Issue at the top and the Date due at the bottom are incoherent, e.g., One is 2021, and the other Is 2017, your document will be declined.
- When editing, ensure the fonts and colors you use match the document.
If you don’t have the editing software to make these changes, you can pay a graphic designer to do it for you. The graphic designer, though, ought to have sample utility bills to do so.
So if you need this document urgently, reach me through WhatsApp 0705582500, so we can get it done.
Step 5. Upload the Utility Bill on Payoneer
To upload your utility bill for verification
- Log into your account
- Go to Settings and Select Verification Center
- Go to Address verification and Upload your Utility Document.
- Click on Save/Submit
It normally takes 24-48 hours for documents to be verified by Payoneer, so be patient.
Payoneer serves many Kenyans who make money online. It surprises me that the company hasn’t made any attempts to simplify its verification process.
Checking online, I realized this problem also persists in other countries such as Nigeria, Pakistan, and India, where there are many online jobs workers.
So, cut yourself the slack of explaining to them and give them what they want.
All the best.