After using PayPal in Nigeria for many years, I can now say I am well experienced enough to tell show you how you can also enjoy using PayPal fully in Nigeria to receive and send money internationally.
If you are here to read about how to create a PayPal account in Nigeria, how to link a bank to your PayPal account, and how to withdraw your money from your PayPal account, I am quite sure you are not new to PayPal.
You might have heard about PayPal, read about it, or attempted to open an account for yourself or a friend. But after the many challenges I have encountered using PayPal for my international business, I have come to the conclusion that using PayPal in Nigeria has to be one of the most challenging things for international business persons living in Nigeria.
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What is PayPal?
PayPal is a US-based online financial service that allows individuals or businesses to send and receive money internationally. It is fast, secure and reliable, easy to use and available across over 200 countries or regions of the world, and over 25 countries currently supported. Thus, PayPal is one of the most popular payment platforms for international businesses and individuals, often the first choice for sending and receiving payments internationally.
The vast popularity of PayPal for international business transactions is a great thing but there are a few cons to it. PayPal, due to its popularity, can afford to charge exorbitant transaction fees and individuals and businesses would still prefer to use it because it is popular. Your business clients won’t have to go through the rigours of sending money via bank transfer. They can simply send it to your PayPal account and you would receive it within seconds to minutes.
Another challenge to the use of PayPal in Nigeria for international transactions is that while most of your international business clients would prefer to send money via PayPal, PayPal is not fully available in Nigeria. With the conventional Nigerian PayPal account, you can only send money but not receive it. However, there is a workaround to create, and fully manage a PayPal account in Nigeria, as you would see here.
Creating a PayPal Account in Nigeria
Nigerian PayPal accounts were discontinued for receiving money sometime around 2014. Some have postulated that this ban on Nigerian accounts was a result of the high fraud burden from Nigeria. Others have said it could be due to difficulty verifying accounts of Nigerian PayPal account users. The last, and most plausible reason, is that the government of the day in Nigeria may have restricted cash inflows via the platform for economic purposes.
Whatever the reasons for the restrictions on Nigerian PayPal accounts, the effects are enormous on international businesses in Nigeria, freelancers, and other people that receive funds from individuals or companies abroad. PayPal has not changed its harsh policy against Nigerians, but we sure need to find a way, don’t we?
Creating a Nigerian PayPal account that works fully well for sending and receiving money is not easy, especially if you don’t know the right steps to follow. Here, you will see a step-by-step approach to creating a fully-functional PayPal account in Nigeria.
Initial Things To Note Before Opening Your Nigerian PayPal Account
The Nigerian PayPal account I will show you how to make will be a fully functional business PayPal account.
You don’t need to forge documents. You can verify it using your normal Nigerian documents.
You can both send and receive money using the account, but you will be charged for each transaction.
You can link your card to the account and withdraw money from it to your Nigerian bank account.
Contrary to other hacks that allow you to create a US PayPal account, you don’t need a VPN or a US phone number.
Other methods of creating a fully functional PayPal account which I have also tried out, is by opening a US or UK PayPal account with fake documents and verifying it using those same documents. This method, however, is safe, fully functional, and does not pose a risk of being banned as long as you use it for legitimate business deals.
Requirements for Opening a PayPal Account in Nigeria
An active Nigerian phone number.
Official Identity Card (e.g., NIN, Voters Card, Passport, etc).
A functional email not already connected to another PayPal account.
A good internet connection.
That’s all! Later, you might want to link your card to PayPal for withdrawal. You will see the requirements and the types of cards accepted by PayPal in the next section about linking a card/bank and withdrawing from PayPal.
Steps in creating a fully functional PayPal account in Nigeria
Step 1: Registration
To create a fully-functional PayPal account in Nigeria, you need to begin the registration using the registration link for another African country that supports PayPal fully. Lesotho is commonly used but you can use any other. The procedure is the same.
Visit the PayPal Lesotho page (shown below) using this link. You might want to use a desktop or switch to “desktop mode” on your smartphone.
Click on “Sign up for Free“
On the next page that opens, select “Business Account” and click “Continue“. Do not use Personal Account!
The next screen that opens will require you to type in your valid email not already associated with another PayPal account. Thereafter, enter your desired password and other required information.
The next screen (shown below) will ask you to fill in your business details. The names do not have to be your real names but it is recommended to use your real name for ease of registration, as you would see later.
Enter a business phone number. Make sure to select the Nigerian flag logo corresponding to the +234 telephone code. Correctly input your active phone number and proceed to the next field.
Enter your state-specific postal code or use “00234” if you don’t know it. It will not be verified later.
Next, leave your primary currency as “US Dollar” and tick the checkbox below it to agree to the User Agreement and Privacy Statement as shown below. This is mandatory.
Then, click on “Agree and Continue”.
In the next steps, you will be verifying your business information. Provide details about your business (Type of business type, product or service category and website URL if any) and then, click on continue. If your business does not exactly match any category in the list, feel free to select any related option or select “Miscellaneous General Merchandise“.
Next, confirm your personal details (date of birth, nationality and type of identification document you want to use for verification). Verify your identity by typing in the identification number on your national identification document (NIN can be used).
Next, you can tick the checkbox as shown below to use the same residential address provided as your business address or enter a new one entirely.
Lastly, click on “Submit” to complete the registration.
After that is done, you will receive an email to your email address provided. Follow the link sent in the email to confirm your registration.
Congratulations, you now have a fully-functional PayPal account to send and receive money internationally in Nigeria.
Step 2: Link a bank account or card to your Nigerian PayPal account
To proceed with your newly created PayPal account, you have to log in and set up a few things. Login by visiting PayPal’s official site, or the same link you used in opening the account. After entering your username and password, it will take you straight to the dashboard.
Sometimes, PayPal might try to verify your identity by asking for a captcha, phone number verification, and so on. Don’t panic. As long as you have your Nigerian documents, you are home and dry.
It is impossible to link a Nigerian bank account to PayPal but if you are able to get a US-based bank account in the same name as your account name, you can link it to PayPal. However, getting this type of account is the difficult part.
In the past, people have been able to link their virtual US accounts from Payoneer, Grey, and Chippercash to PayPal to withdraw funds but these options are no longer available on PayPal. You can only link a non-virtual US account to PayPal.
Other working alternatives to a bank account include VISA Prepaid Naira or Dollar Cards. PayPal for Nigeria does not accept Debit Mastercards, Verve cards, or other non-VISA cards.
Step 3: Fund your PayPal account
You can’t withdraw from your Nigerian PayPal account if you don’t have money in it. That means you need to first find a way to earn money using your PayPal account. If you have read to this point, it means you are already involved in one or more business activities that can fetch you money online, and you are looking for a way to make your Nigerian PayPal account fully functional.
Here, you have seen how to create a fully working PayPal account. Shortly, you will see the various options for withdrawing from your PayPal account in Nigeria into your Nigerian bank account.
How to withdraw money from your Nigerian PayPal Account
There are two options for withdrawing money from your PayPal account in Nigeria. The first is withdrawing your money as Nigerian Naira to your Naira account. The second is withdrawing your PayPal funds in Dollars, either into your Dollar Domiciliary account or any Dollar Card.
When converting money directly to your local currency, in this case, Naira, PayPal uses very ridiculously low rates plus a transaction fee of $5 equivalent for every withdrawal into the bank. This is often very undesirable as you can get higher profits if you are able to get the money in the dollar and convert it to your local currency at the black market rate. Hence, most people begin to look for ways to cash out the money in dollars.
I will show you three methods of withdrawing from PayPal in Nigeria.
1. Linking an eligible Naira card directly to PayPal to receive your money in your local Nigerian currency
It is impossible to link a non-US bank account to a US-currency PayPal account but it is possible to link your card if you are outside the United States. However, not all cards are supported for withdrawing money from PayPal in some countries. You can be able to link the cards to PayPal but if it’s not supported for withdrawing, you will only be able to send money via PayPal using the card and not withdraw with it.
PayPal created for Nigeria using the method above only accepts VISA cards for withdrawal. Mastercards are only supported for making payments via the platform.
I have personally tried all these methods on the PayPal account I created using the method above. But I had certain challenges with this method of receiving money via PayPal. I will share them with you shortly, but before then, let me show you how to get a VISA card from the bank, that can work well for withdrawing money from PayPal.
a. Requirements for getting an eligible card for PayPal
Identity documents/card (NIN, Voter’s card, National passport, or driver’s license).
Two recent passport photos.
Keep your BVN handy.
A working email address you have access to.
A utility bill, especially if you are not able to provide up to two means of identification.
A little money, about #2000 to activate the card.
b. Steps in opening an eligible VISA card that works for withdrawing from PayPal
Not all Nigerian banks offer VISA cards to their customers but I know of one that does. UBA offers two VISA prepaid card types (known as the UBA AfriCard) that can be successfully linked to a Nigerian PayPal account. One is denominated in Naira, the other is denominated in dollars.
In this section, I will show you how to easily get your UBA AfriCard from any UBA branch in Nigeria. After that, you can go ahead to link it to your PayPal and withdraw your funds into it. With the naira-denominated UBA VISA prepaid card, PayPal converts the money at a lower rate, after deducting a $5 equivalent from the total amount entered.
The dollar-denominated card allows you to withdraw dollars directly into the card after deducting $5 but it does not allow you to withdraw the money from the card. You can only use it to shop online or send it to another prepaid card user for exchange. Several platforms and individuals allow you to send prepaid dollar funds in exchange for local cash but the rates are also very ridiculously low.
Now, here are the steps in creating a UBA AfriCard to withdraw money from your Nigerian PayPal account.
1. Walk into any UBA bank branch, and request a prepaid account request form (a sample of the form is shown below).
2. Fill the form with the required information, including BVN, email, and type of ID document you have, and indicate “Visa” as card type and “Naira” or “Dollar” as currency depending on the one you prefer.
3. Then, submit the form to the customer service staff in the bank alongside the documents and utility bill. The staff will give you specific instructions on what to do. Within a few minutes, your card will be ready for collection. The sample of the card is shown below (the design might change with time).
Note the card number and expiry date on the front side, as well as the CVV and the prepaid account number (Client ID) on the backside. The Client ID is the account number you can send money to when you want to fund the cash using cash or a bank.
4. The last step is to activate your card. You will be asked to fund your newly-issued card with at least #1000 by sending money into it from the bank, an ATM, or from your existing UBA account via the UBA mobile app. After that, slot your card into any UBA ATM to enter the default pin written on the card leaflet. Then, go ahead to change the pin to your desired pin. #1000 will be deducted from the card issuance fee.
Once your card is active, you can link it to your PayPal and withdraw money from PayPal into it. This resource shows you how to link your card to PayPal but you can easily navigate through the process with little or no help, as long as you have your card number, expiry date, and CVV number.
2. Obtaining a US-based bank account to link to PayPal
The second way to get money from your PayPal is to open a US-based bank account. You can do so by looking for US banks that offer banking services to non-citizens for a fee, or you can find a way to purchase documents from the US to open an online US bank account.
Sometime in the past, a Payoneer bank account used to be accepted for withdrawal on PayPal but PayPal has blocked that method, just like it has blocked several others like Skrill, Chippercash, Grey, etcetera. The only available option in 2023 is to open real US bank accounts using a US address.
This method is very cumbersome, so I chose not to talk so much about it.
3. Send to a trusted friend in the US who can send the money to your domiciliary account from there
This is the best method to receive your PayPal funds to your dollar domiciliary account in Nigeria. Look for a friend in the United States who has a PayPal account. Send the money to their PayPal account after discussing with them what you want.
PayPal accounts for US residents allow them to link to their US bank account from where they can send money via many platforms to anybody internationally. I have had a friend send money from the UK after sending the money to their PayPal account. And recently, I also had my friend send me money from the US also after sending it to them via PayPal.
There are several financial apps that can allow foreign residents to send money to any dollar-domiciliary account internationally. My friend in the UK used WorldRemit while my friend in the US used Boss Revolution but there are many others if I am to list.
These transactions carry some transaction fees but in the long run, it will be more profitable than withdrawing directly using your prepaid card.
Don’t shy away from explaining your source of money to your friend to make them know that you got it legitimately.
Also, don’t forget to offer your friend a few dollars for a bottle of soda. They might refuse but that is a gesture that is totally worth it because it is not so easy to find someone in the UK or US who is willing to help you route money this way.
I hope this tutorial helps you create a fully-functional PayPal account in Nigeria and be able to withdraw money from it. There are several other options you can consider when receiving and sending money internationally. Some examples are bank transfer, Payoneer, Western Union, Skrill, Bank Wire, 2Checkout, Transferwise, etcetera. While some of these may have lesser charges compared to PayPal, PayPal is still the most popularly used by international clients due to its ease and reliability.
I am a medical doctor, a seasoned writer and passionate blogger. Thanks to many years of trials, failure, and near successes. I am the founder of Knowseeker and our content are geared towards enlightening and making you a better and happier audience.