No doubt, Paypal is about the most widely used payment method for online transactions — worldwide. But sadly, Nigerians are no longer allowed to use the service.
This restriction is one of the major worries of Nigerian webmasters and online entrepreneurs. In fact, it is the reason why some Nigerians are yet to start their online businesses.
If you’re finding it hard to receive payment online because Paypal is a no-no for we Nigerians, this post is for you. Here, I’ll be discussing five alternatives to Paypal.
Update: PayPal is now officially available in Nigeria (effective from Tuesday, June 17, 2014). However, Nigerian PayPal users can only send funds and make online payments. PayPal does not allow Nigerians to receive or withdraw funds. So, this article remains highly relevant to those who need to receive funds from abroad.
Note that these alternatives may not be perfect replacements for Paypal, but they’ll provide an avenue for you to receive payment from abroad. (Of course, half a loaf is better than no bread.)
Now, let’s look at the alternatives you’ve got.
1. Western Union Money Transfer
With this method, you can receive payment from anywhere in the world. If you’re a freelancer, this may be a good option for you — provided you have clients that are understanding.
Note that you must have a valid government-issued ID card (such as an international passport, national identity card, or drivers’ license) before you can receive payments.
Although this payment method is very speedy, it may not suitable for very small payments due to the transfer and transaction charges.
If you’re planning to venture (or you’re already) into affiliate marketing or Google Adsense, receiving a check may be the best (or even the only) option for you. This option is suitable for freelancers, too.
Once you request your payment (from the company or individual you’re dealing with), a US cheque (check) would be sent to your mailing address, and you can get your cash at any Nigerian bank.
Receiving funds through cheques may take weeks, depending on the bank you use as well as the issuing bank. So, this payment method may not be suitable if you need the funds urgently.
To receive funds via cheques, you must have a domiciliary account (an international banking account that can be used for sending and receiving payments worldwide). You can easily open a domiciliary account with any Nigerian bank, but you must have a valid identity document (international passport, drivers’ license, or national ID card) and other requirements (which vary depending on the bank). You can visit any bank to make enquiries on opening a domiciliary account.
Please note that transaction charges apply to cheques, and these may vary from bank to bank.
WARNING: Have your cheque sent only to a valid mailing address! If your address cannot be traced easily, you may lose your cheque.
3. Bank Wire transfer
This method of payment is very simple: your funds are transferred from the sender’s bank account to your own bank account here in Nigeria. Once again, you’ll need a domiciliary account for you to receive payment through this method.
Though speedy as it may seem, this payment method is not instant. You may have to wait for days to a few weeks before receiving your funds. But the option is suitable for almost everyone in online business.
4. Payoneer Mastercard
This is the coolest option for Nigerians (in my own opinion). With the Payoneer debit MasterCard, you can receive payment from freelance job sites, affiliate networks, individuals, and companies.
To get your Payoneer debit card, you have two options:
- If you’re going into online freelance business (writing, web design, programming, SEO, graphics design, virtual assistance, translation, etc.) or affiliate marketing, you can request the card through the freelance outsourcing site or affiliate network you want to work with. Elance, Odesk, Freelancer, Markethealth, and Fiverr are examples of Payoneer partners through which you can request your own card.
- Visit Payoneer’s website to request the card directly.
After your request has been confirmed by the Payoneer support, you’ll be sent an email informing you of the shipment as well as the expected delivery date. (You’d be told to wait for 28 days, but I receive my own cards in less than 20 days. So, it depends on your location in Nigeria.)
WARNING: Payoneer does not deliver to mailboxes. Only residential addresses are allowed. So, use a valid residential address that can be traced easily. If your card gets lost in transit, you may be asked to pay $50 (about N7500) before another card is sent to you.
The Payoneer card allows you to receive direct payment from freelance sites and affiliate networks. Also, individuals can load funds directly to your card from another credit/debit card.
Once you have the funds on your card, you’ll get an email notification from Payoneer, and you can withdraw your funds instantly from any ATM that processes Mastercard-issued cards (I only know of GTB and Zenith bank ATMs at the moment).
Also known as 2CO, this service allows you to integrate a payment system on your website or blog. So, if you sell products or render services online, this option is for you.
Just visit 2checkout.com and register. (Note that you’ll be charged an application fee of $10.) It takes just a few days to get your account approved (they need to confirm that your business is credible). Once your account is approved, you can set up the payment button on your page.
With 2CO, you can receive payment from anyone, regardless of the payment method that person chooses (Paypal, credit/debit card, and over 5 others).
Subsequently, you can withdraw your funds from your 2CO account. Payment is made every Thursday (provided you have up to the minimum release balance) to your Payoneer Mastercard, or your bank (domiciliary) account via check or Wire transfer.
You can find out more information about 2checkout on their FAQ page.
So, if you’ve always thought that online business is impossible without Paypal, I’m sure you now know that there are other options for you. Choose your preferred option and start making cool cash from your online business.
Now, I’m sure you love this…
Yes, I’m sure you love what you just read. In case you didn’t know, this is a new blog, which I started some weeks back with the aim of enlightening Nigerians who want to start online business but don’t know how.
I cringe when I see Nigerian “webmasters” requesting for money before they can disclose details about online business. So, I decided to offer helpful information on this blog — for free.
So, if you want high quality information about various online business options and everything related to making money online, like the Facebook page for this blog (https://www.facebook.com/WebIncomePlus) and subscribe to updates on latest posts (see form on the right). This way, you’ll receive email and Facebook notifications as soon as I share more quality information about online business.
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