February 3, 2020

How to Send Money to Nigeria [2021 update]

by Jens Ischebeck

Sending money to Nigeria from USA or from any other country is often a big help for your relatives and your friends living there.

But it can be hard as well because of the strict money transfer regulations because of the anti money laundering rules.

In this in-depth guide about money transfer to Nigeria I'll show you how sending money to Nigeria actually works. 

The later-on presented money transfer providers help you to keep your money transfer fees under control, to realize secure transfers and to get your money fast to your recipient.

This money transfer to Nigeria guide will create additional value for you by defining the actual challenges and how to overcome them, how to send money to Nigeria in the best way.


Okay?

Let's start. 

Strict Rules for a money transfer to Nigeria

On 4th August 2016, the Central Bank of Nigeria unexpectedly issued a presser stating that it was changing its policy with regards to the money transfer to Nigeria. What this move meant was that a large percentage of the services relied upon by many of its citizens would no longer be available.

The decision carried out by the regulator meant that all but 3 operating licenses were revoked. What’s more, the regulator also took it upon itself to warn the public, both at home and abroad to be wary of the unwholesome nature of the activities performed by International Money Transfer Operators.

According to the regulator, the reason it instituted the new policies was for "the greater economic good of Nigeria," the statement from the Central Bank went on to read that it would “not condone any attempt aimed at undermining the country's foreign exchange regime."


strict money transfer rules

The move, which was sudden and caught many people off-guard created immediate backlash. It’s a decision that affected a large amount of money. By the end of 2019, annual remittances to Nigeria stood at $17.5 billion, according to information obtained from Central Bank of Nigeria.

Some of the companies that were affected at the time include WorldRemit which had been operating in Nigeria since the beginning of 2011.

It was, therefore, among the first companies to issue a statement rebuking the new policies. It termed the policies as “draconian” and went ahead to note that only three companies would now be left to operate.

All the companies not affected by the policy are those that had managed to establish physical operations in the country. Ismail Ahmed, the CEO and Founder of WorldRemit noted that: "This move is arbitrary, inexplicable and hugely detrimental to the Nigerian diaspora, who rely on hundreds of money transfer companies and banks, providing them with choice, convenience, and competitive pricing."

And this was where the rain started falling on Nigerians living abroad, and interested in sending money to Nigeria, back home!

Now:

Send money to Nigeria: Common problems experienced

1. Money transfer restrictions 

While wire transfers are generally a straight forward transaction, the same does not apply to Nigeria. Sending money in and out of the country requires the client to deal with numerous country-specific restrictions.


2. Transfer duration 

When sending money from abroad, it may take a few business days for it to arrive to the recipient. This makes it even harder for those looking for money transfer to Nigeria urgently to help sort out medical bills.


3. The need to have a bank account 

As pointed out earlier, the policies implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria had a huge impact in the money remittance sector. This included the need for recipients to have bank accounts with local banks. The unbanked population is, therefore, not able to benefit from these services.


4. High fees

Expensive money transfer fees are occasioned when sending money via banks.

Receiving Money in Nigeria

send money to Africa to pay a freelancer

Freelancers working in Nigeria probably have it the hardest.

As a freelancer, it means that you get to work with clients from all corners of the world. As is the case with freelancing in all places, the employers will always want to pay you using the method most convenient for them.

Here, methods that come into mind will include PayPal, Payoneer and bank transfer. 

But anyone who has transacted with PayPal knows very well that they have very strict policies, not forgetting very high rates. Countries such as Nigeria also happen to be among the most-watched countries by the payment processors.


Payoneer on the other hand is well established. The flip side is that this service is designed for freelancers, so Payoneer is not the first choice if we talk about remittances.

So, what do you do when you have been toiling hard for the past few weeks or months working on a project, and have finally managed to complete it, but the employer cannot pay you?

And the reason that they are unable to pay you is not that they are not willing to do so, but because they do not have a way to send you the money you have worked so hard for?

Read on to learn how you can overcome this hurdle, if and whenever it does arise when working on a freelance project!

I Would Like to Send Money to Nigeria, But I Don’t Know Which Provider to Use

Having emigrated to the United Kingdom, the United States, or even Canada from Nigeria, chances are that you left some people behind; people that you care about and you would like to transfer money abroad to every once in a while.

But while you are used to sending money at the click of a button to other locations, the same does not apply to Nigeria.

And the reality is that there are thousands of Nigerians like you looking for easy and inexpensive ways to remit Nairas back home to benefit friends, family, and even business associates.

In the search for a good money remittance company, you will note that banks on both sides of the divide do not offer the best rates.

This is more so when you are looking to convert major currencies into Nairas. It’s the reason why it’s important to compare all the available options before you settle on one.

Whether you are looking to make a single transfer, or intend to make frequent transfers, you will need to find a reliable partner.

Did you know that Nigerians abroad remit over twenty billion dollars each year to their friends and loved ones back home?

Given that there are close to fifteen million Nigerians abroad, that’s an equivalent of $1,300 per person.

The research we have conducted so far has led us to believe that many people looking to send money to Nigeria overspend on their transfers by up to 5 percent.

As such, if people were able to find a provider for sending money to Nigeria cheap way, this would mean that they would save as much as $1 billion each year.

Per person, this would translate to about $65.

While PayPal and your local bank will not offer you the best exchange rates, the only solution available to you is to consider popular options such as credit cards, wire transfers, or bank deposits.

But why not spend some time online trying to compare the other well-known options online?

Here's the deal:

which money transfer operator should I use? Western Union, Moneygram or PayPal?

Save 1 billion USD per year by sending money to Nigeria with cheaper money transfer providers!

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3 methods to Send money to Nigeria

instant money transfer on a mobile phone

When all is said and done, there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

While the Central Bank of Nigeria may have opted to institute stricter regulations, new ways have emerged that Nigerians living abroad can use to send money on mobile phones back home.

At the moment, any person looking to remit money back home can:



#1: send money to Nigeria as mobile money:

Send money via their smartphones app to send money to Nigeria using popular solutions such as Azimo, Xoom, or Wordremit.

With these apps the money transfer is instant, cheap and secure. Your recipient will get the money within minutes.


#2: send money to Nigeria with a P2P marketplace

Alternatively, they can also opt to use the peer-to-peer marketplaces such as Wise.

One thing to note about these marketplaces is that they are always promising better rates. It’s up to you to determine which rate works best for you based on the amount you want to send home.


#3: send money to Nigeria using Bitcoin

More and more interesting, is using bitcoins as sending medium and exchange the bitcoins to Naira by using a peer-to-peer marketplace such as Paxful or an app like SendCash.


While the aforementioned are viable solutions, they are just but an example of the solutions that you can rely on to send money to your family, friends, and business associates back in Nigeria.

But here's the kicker:

Send money to Nigeria with WorldRemit

Take your time and have a look on this short video.

It shows you how you can easily send money to Nigeria, as mobile money, with just a few clicks.

E.g. $200 to your relatives or as payment for a Nigerian freelancer.

Have a look:

Note:

As per December 2020, he Central Bank of Nigeria announced changes to the ways people can receive money.

WorldRemit offers you the option of sending money for either cash pickup in US dollars, or to a US dollar bank account in Nigeria.

To help make sure your transaction goes smoothly, here are some tips:

  1. You can no longer send transfers in Naira - if you are trying to send to a Naira bank account, the transaction will fail.
  2. When sending transfers for cash pickup, please check that the primary phone number of the recipient is correct. In order to pick up the cash, they will need to show a code sent to this number. 9mobile network numbers are not valid for this as they are unable to receive the code.
  3. Transactions sent for cash pickup should be rounded to the nearest 10USD, maximising chances that notes will be available to collect.
  4. Transactions sent via bank transfer must be sent to a domiciled US dollar bank account in Nigeria.

For the latest updates, visit worldremit.com/en/live-updates

Money Transfer to Nigeria: Provider Comparison

Now, that we know the different methods of sending money to Nigeria, let's have a deeper look on the available providers.


Sending money to Nigeria with WorldRemit

WorldRemit offers the money transfer to Nigeria as cash pickup, as bank transfer, as mobile money and as airtime popup.

The bank transfer partner banks are: Fidelity, FCMB, FirstBank, Access Bank, Diamond Bank and Ecobank.

The mobile money partner wallets are Opay and PagaTech.

Maximum amount of a money transfer to Nigeria:  A maximum of NGN 7,000,000 per transfer and per day for bank transfers; Lower limits may apply depending on the country you make the transfer from and your payment method.

Calculation example: You send 100 USD, pay 4.99 USD of fee and your recipient gets 38,009 NGN with WorldRemit.


Sending money to Nigeria with Xoom

Xoom offers the money transfer to Nigeria as cash pickup and as bank transfer.

The bank transfer partner banks is Fidelity.

Calculation example: You send 100 USD, pay 4.99 USD of fee and your recipient gets 37,285 NGN with Xoom.


Sending money to Nigeria With Azimo

Azimo offers the money transfer to Nigeria as bank transfer and as airtime popup.

The bank transfer partner banks are: Zenith Bank, GTBank, UBA Bank, Fidelity, FirstBank, Access Bank, Diamond Bank and Ecobank.

Azimo does not offer its services in USA and Canada, but it is very good for money transfers from UK and Europe to Nigeria.
Calculation example: You send 100 GBP (78 USD), pay 1.99 GBP of fee and your recipient gets 41,942 NGN with Azimo.


Sending money to Nigeria with Wise

Wise offers the money transfer to Nigeria as bank transfer, because it's a peer-to-peer marketplace.

Calculation example: You send 100 USD, pay 2.04 USD of fee and your recipient gets 37,420 NGN with Wise.


Send money to nigeria: best choice for uSD bank accounts

After reviewing the different available providers for a money transfer to Nigeria the outcome is the following:

Send money to Nigeria: best choice for naira bank accounts

In December 2020 the government of Nigeria introduced new financial regulations which are restricting the possibilities to send or receive Naira (NGN) for Nigerian bank account holders.

As consequence, the receivers of payments in Nigeria need a bank account which is allowed to receive US Dollar. The previously accepted Naira are no more possible.

This means, that many of the money transfer providers are struggling to provide vital solutions.

E.g. WorldRemit still offers money transfers to Nigeria, but just to USD bank accounts.


But if you want to send money to your family members or to a freelancer, these people usually don’t have USD accounts.

What to do now?


The SendCash app is a good alternative to use. I used it now a couple of times to send money to Nigeria.


SendCash is bypassing these new regulations by using Bitcoin (BTC) as transfer medium.

To make it easy for the sender, you as sender should have a cryptocurrency respectively a Bitcoin wallet.

Note: you can easily purchase Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency on Binance or Paxful.


The nice thing of sending money with SendCash is, that the receiver in Nigeria gets the money in Naira (NGN), no matter of the origin currency of the sender.



How does SendCash work in detail?


As sender, you define the amount of money you want to send with SendCash and your origin currency.

As second step you enter the bank account details (the bank name and the bank account number) in the dashboard.

Now your are guide to the start your transfer. This means, you enter again the amount you want to send. And you define, if you want to withdraw this amount of your Bitcoin wallet or if you want to use Wyre.

Me, I always used my BTC wallet.


Finally, the SendCash app shows you a Bitcoin wallet address which is coupled with the previously entered bank account of the receiver.

So you will send the equivalent Bitcoin value from your Bitcoin wallet to the Bitcoin wallet created by SendCash.

After sending, SendCash transforms the BTC amount into the equivalent NGN amount.

Finally, after a short while, the receiver will receive the sent amount on his bank account in Naira.


As said, I used SendCash several times now and I am really convinced. It sounds more complicated than it is.

SendCash app step 1
SendCash app step 2
SendCash app step 3
SendCash app step 4
SendCash app step 5
SendCash app step 6

Do like my article? Share it with with your friends or send me a comment below!


Tags

Nigeria, Send money to Africa


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  1. wow!!!
    This is really awesome. Like the other person mentioned, you didn’t take a look at payoneer. But I am glad you have made amends to that. We freelancers often encounter challenges trying to receive our earnings both directly from clients, and on various platforms we offer our professional services. This blog contains some eye openers. Thanks for coming up with this great piece.

  2. Now I know other ways to receive payment as a freelancer apart from bitcoin. Thank you.

  3. Are there ways to get my money transferred to Nigeria Account from an Asia country because it seems this App isn’t working here…

  4. Wow, this blog post is an eye opener for me, I really now understand various means to receive payment online as Nigerian.

    I strongly recommend this blog post for all freelancer

  5. This is comprehensive and in simple, understandable terms. Thanks for sharing this as it’s quite helpful for freelancers like myself.
    Thanks so much!

  6. I actually read somewhere that there might be another reason why Nigeria PayPal does not receive and not necessarily because of fraud. And some of my Nigeria friends now consider Lesotho Merchant PayPal Account. A good way to bypass the restriction.

    However, I feel WorldRemit is worth giving a try too.

  7. This is really nice …it works real fine too …with low charges …thank you

  8. Wow! This post is really educative. I got to understand many hidden things.
    I will surely recommend this post to many people. Thank you so much! Wonderful!

  9. Unfortunately both Xoom and wise are no longer available to Nigerians, they were both very reliable

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