Paypal Nigeria: Paypal is coming to town

KoliTech Nigeria

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Posted by on Tuesday June 17, 2014 at 16:28:11:

I wonder why Paypal sidelined Nigeria all these years many people have been waiting for her and yet included other smaller African countries like Niger, Chad, Togo, Sierra Leone and others whose economies were not as big as Nigeria's.

As I was browsing through a Nigerian tech blog today, I read a headline that Paypal was coming to Nigeria and I was a bit excited. In order to confirm the report, I later Googled for the keywords "Paypal in Nigeria" to confirm it and sites like Nairaland were in the lead. I read the Nairaland post only to see that it was an old post by a guy who was just interested in selling Paypal services to Nigerians who still wanted to get on the platform through the back door. However, I later saw a post on reuters which confirmed it and many Nigerian blogs are already carrying the news.

Funny enough, I've visited the Paypal website and can see that Nigeria has not yet been listed. I even tried signing up but Nigeria is not in the drop box and the closest country was Niger. Well, maybe it's going to take some time for Paypal to update their website and let Nigerians use Paypal in Naira.

In the past, due to Paypal somewhat snobbishness, I had advised Nigerians on my blog to forget using Paypal since it was a bit insulting that they ignored us and also unsafe to invest in. There had been stories of many Nigerians who opened Paypal accounts through the back door by making use of VPN accounts and virtual addresses. Even after some of these accounts had been confirmed, a time normally comes when Paypal will request for more verification like a Social security number or govt National card and if you are not resident in such country, your account will remain limited.

It didn't make much sense then to use Paypal in Nigeria but a lot of people who were struggling to earn a few dollars on sites like Clickbank or pay for some services were so attracted to Paypal that they had to use deception to operate Paypal accounts in Nigeria. Some Nigerians opened Paypal accounts using countries like the USA, Middle Eastern countries like China as well as African countries like Niger and Kenya.

Then, it wasn't a straightforward affair to use or operate a Paypal account but still many young Nigerian persisted to open and maintain such accounts, some of which were limited and with funds in them.

There are a lot of Nigerian who transact business online and some make big money doing so but you won't really find them using Paypal since they had other means of online Paypal such as bank wires, Western Union, money orders and foreign cheques.

There were also some Nigerians who needed and used Paypal accounts in the past for making payments for services or goods on websites like eBay, Nike, Bluehost and Netfirms. Some even had to buy Paypal funds from local e-currency exchangers, a practice which was considered against Paypal's terms of service.

If Paypal were to come to Nigeria in 2014, it would really change the whole picture. More Nigerians would have access to more opportunities.

With this recent report about Paypal's intention to enter Africa's largest economy, one big question many Nigerians would now ask is "Why is Paypal now coming to Nigeria?".

Nigerians now have access to other online payment options such as Naira Visa and Mastercards which are internationally accepted on sites like Amazon. Nigerians can also make payments with bank wires and their credit/cards as well as receive payments through Western Union and bank wires too. What good will Paypal still do?

Well, having a Paypal account in Nigeria offers a lot of benefits based on what I know. One of such benefits is their degree of safety. Paypal is one of the safest places where you can store you money which you can use for e-commerce. Paypal protects both buyers and sellers. It is safer to use Paypal to make payments and receive money than using your credit/debit card. A lot of credit cards get hacked as people use them and expose their details on multiple websites, some of which can be compromised. With a Paypal account, users will limit the exposure of their card details and this would be limited to Paypal.

A second benefit of Paypal in Nigeria is that it'll encourage the growth of online freelancers in Nigeria who will be able to use their computer skills to do freelance work and get paid by Paypal. It will also encourage Nigerians to go into the business of making money online on many affiliate marketing websites like Clickbank.

A third benefit of Paypal in Nigeria would be that it would allow people in Nigeria to easily receive money from their friends and contacts in foreign countries in minutes. It would definitely be a major competitor to service providers like Western Union and Moneygram who are already leaders in countries like Nigeria. This means that your son or daughter can send money to you through Paypal in minutes and you'd be able to collect it through your bank or ATM. However, I'm not sure Paypal Nigeria is going to offer users ability to receive money. I hear that they are blocking that feature for now.

A 4th benefit of Paypal in Nigeria is that it will encourage the growth of e-commerce most especially at a time when Nigerians are buying and selling goods online. One of the biggest online industries right now in Nigeria are the shopping websites. A majority of online orders in Nigeria from these shopping websites are still settled on a pay on delivery basis meaning that sellers are not paid until goods have been supplied and it's mostly a cash payment. With Paypal, buyer can pay immediately while funds might be kept in escrow until goods are delivered and seller would be later paid. It's a win win for both buyer and seller. Paypal will also allow smaller players or merchants in Nigeria to use their services which allows people to sell digital items instantly using their Instant Payment notification system that can be used to initiate automatic downloads. So, Paypal would be a good payment processing platform not just for big merchants but also for smaller merchants.

A 5th benefit of Paypal in Nigeria is that it will create some jobs for people. Yes, Paypal will probably open an office in Nigeria probably in Lagos or Abuja and would have to employ some Nigerian youths to run their operations there. So, it's good for the country.

According to the Reuters report I read about Paypal's impending entry to Nigeria, the headline read "PayPal expands payment services to Nigeria, 9 other markets".

Paypal has a growing presence in Africa but don't offer full services in all the listed countries. Some countries have Paypal but with limited capabilities. A country might have access to use Paypal to send money but not for receiving while some can receive but can't withdraw to a local bank while some others have the full services. We are not yet sure if Paypal is going to offer Nigerians full access to all its services or capabilities. I hope they do. Given Nigeria' rapid economic growth rate and predictions for the future, it's not advisable to offer limited services unless they want to lose to competittors.

Why did Paypal come to Nigeria now? Well, it seems they had been keenly watching and didn't just want to rush into Nigeria yet like they did to some other African countries. Nigeria is a bit more complex and perhaps they've seen how cards like Visa and Mastercard have been integrated with the banking system and hence feel more comfortable getting into the system. Paypal had been bit by Nigerian scammers in the past especially on sitesl ike eBay and Paypal may not feel comfortable offering the same payment platform that US customers use to Nigerians because of scam. Well, companies like Mastercard and Visa are already in Nigeria mostly offering payment options too. The card providers normally come as either debit or credit cards which are normally linked to bank accounts in Nigeria. I would hope Paypal also offers Nigerians ability to receive money since they could also link people's account to their bank accounts. Nigerian banks have grown bigger you know.

As I was rounding up this blog post, I later saw the confirmatory post on Paypal's blog here:

It indicates that Nigeria has been included along with other countries such as Belarus, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Paraguay and Zimbabwe.

Ok, Paypal, I'm ready to sign up but Nigeria is not yet listed on your registration page so kindly update it.

For those Nigerians who still use Paypal through the back door, well, it's time to create an official relationship with Paypal Nigeria.


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