No doubt, PayPal is about the most widely used payment method for online transactions — worldwide. But sadly, Nigerians are not allowed to use the service for receiving and withdrawing funds (even though you can still use it for purchases and to transfer funds to other PayPal users.)
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.
Note that these alternatives may not be perfect replacements for Paypal, but they’ll provide an avenue for you to receive payments from abroad. (Of course, half a loaf is better than no bread.)
Now, let’s look at the alternatives you’ve got.
Formerly known as Moneybookers, Skrill is one of the best alternatives to Paypal that are available to Nigerians. The service works just like PayPal, allowing you to send and receive funds. You can also upload funds from your Nigerian bank account and receive funds to it as well.
In fact, if you’re having a hard time converting your Payoneer funds to cool cash (due to the present harsh limitations on online dollar transactions), you can simply upload the funds from your Payoneer card to your Skrill account, and then request payment from Skrill to your local bank account.
Note that you’d be required to verify your account before you can be allowed access to the full features of your Skrill account. Although it’s not as popular or widely used as PayPal, it’s a cool alternative that you’d love.
2. 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.
3. 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 reputable 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.)
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.
If you’re planning to venture (or you’re already) into some affiliate marketing programs, such as Amazon affiliates, receiving a check may be an option for you (note that Amazon pays directly to Payoneer cards, though). 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.
5. 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.
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 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.
7. Online Money Transfer Services
You can also receive funds online here in Nigeria through online money transfer companies like Transferwise and Worldtrust. These services allow you to receive funds directly into your Nigerian bank account at very low costs.
Using these services is very easy. Simply visit their websites and register. Then follow the directions issued on how to receive your funds. Note that using these services would require that the person sending you the money register with the site.
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.
If you have any contributions or questions, share your thoughts by leaving a comment.
Don’t be selfish, please…
Hey, don’t forget to share this post (and other posts on this blog) with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Remember, everyone wants to make money. So, as you try to achieve this dream, help others, too.