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How to Send Money to Nigeria

Last updated 23rd Sep 2022
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If you are sending money to Nigeria online, it's best to use international transfer providers. MTPs like WorldRemit, Instarem, and Wise allow using multiple payment methods and pickup options while ensuring fast transfers with reasonable fees.

In this guide, you'll discover how money transfer providers compare to the alternatives of sending money to Nigeria. You'll learn details about the required documents when sending and receiving money and discover more about the local regulations. Here's what to know before sending money to Nigeria!

How to Send Money to Nigeria Using a Money Transfer Provider?

The process of sending money to Nigeria by using an online money transfer service is simple. You only need to follow these three steps to execute a transaction!

common:step Step 1: Compare providers to find the one that best fits you

Money transfer providers differ in transaction speeds, costs, currencies, transaction types, volume, payment methods, and more. Choose what's most important to you, and weed out the services that don't provide it until you're left with one that does, and under favorable conditions.

common:step Step 2: Sign up with the chosen provider

The sign-up process shouldn't last more than a few minutes. Make sure to provide valid details since most platforms conduct identity verification checks. They could ask you for a photo ID or to upload a copy of your ID card or passport.

common:step Step 3: Transfer money

Begin by choosing the desired currency to deposit and pick Nigeria as the destination. Select your payment method of choice, double-check all details, and finalize the transaction.

How to Send and Receive Money in Nigeria?

Remittance to Nigeria rose by 11.2% in 2021 to USD 19.2 billion from the USD 17.2 billion recorded in 2020. Online money transfer operators are the main option to send and receive money in Nigeria, but the following is an overview of all available options!

Ways to Send Money to Nigeria

Thanks to money transfer providers, you can easily send funds to Nigeria online. But MTPs are only one option for sending money to Nigeria, and here's how they compare to the alternatives:

Money Transfer Services

International money transfer platforms are the most frequently used method of moving funds to Nigeria. It's understandable because they are a fast, easy, and affordable way to send money.

MTPs are online-based services, so you will need an internet connection. The process begins by visiting the desired website, such as Western Union, XE, or WorldRemit. You'll need to register an account and enter valid parameters to send money. Some operators allow sending money to Nigeria from over 165 countries.

The payment method selection is impressive, including popular options like credit cards and bank transfers. The transaction could finalize in minutes, although it takes a whole day or more with some methods.

Wire Transfers

Although they aren't the newest method available, wire transfers are a reliable option to send money to Nigeria. This method is available at banks and other financial institutions.

However, the process is complex, and the transactions could take days. Using MTPs are faster and the fees are also lower than when using a wire transfer. Even the receiver will appreciate you using MTPs since they'll have the money available sooner.

Bank Account Transfers

The statistics show that only 71% percent of adults in Nigerian cities have a bank account, while the number drops to 40% in rural zones.

While many banks, such as the First Bank of Nigeria and the Diamond Bank, can open an account automatically for the receiver, this is still a complex method. Bank transfers aren't the fastest option, and the institution could charge high fees, so it's better to stick to money transfer services.

Challenger Banks

Challenger banks only offer specific services, and their focus is usually on digital products. Kuda, Mint, and Alat are some digital banking institutions with an array of different services. International money transfers aren't among their priorities, and their limited liquidity makes them risky for large transfers. MTPs process millions of transactions daily, making them far more reliable for moving funds to Nigeria.

Mobile Apps and Payment Services

You can use Google Wallet and Apple Pay in Nigeria, but these apps are geared to domestic retail transactions and not international money transfers.

It's better to use money transfer platforms, especially with their mobile-friendly websites and dedicated apps. You can use multiple payment methods and enjoy fast transaction speeds.

PayPal

PayPal is available in over 200 countries, ensuring impressive worldwide coverage, and there are almost instant transactions. However, this comes with its limitations because the receiver needs to have a PayPal account opened to receive money.

Another drawback of this platform are the high fees, which can go as high as 5%. Money transfer providers charge far less and might not even have transaction fees. MTPs support instant transactions, so you'll get the same transfer speed while paying less.

Money Transfers to a Pickup Location

If you don't have a valid online connection, taking the money to a pickup location is a viable alternative. Platforms like Western Union and Wise offer this option, but they also come with higher fees. And there's always a risk of loss or theft when carrying cash. It's safer and easier to use online money transfer providers, and you will likely save money since the fees are lower.

What Do You Need to Send Money to Nigeria?

  • A Photo ID. Money transfer providers require registering an account, and most will need you to confirm your personal data.

  • Receiver's information. Apart from their name, you might need bank account info and other specifics. You may also require other data, such as a mobile number for the receiver.

  • Documents that prove the money's origin. A simple salary statement could do, but other relevant sources, such as property sale documents, also apply.

  • Completing a sending form. This is usually necessary only if you send money from an agent's location.

What Are the Ways of Receiving Money in Nigeria?

The receiver has three options for getting money in Nigeria. As a sender, discuss their preference but don't forget to compare the fees. Here are the available options:

Location Pick Up

Western Union has over 5,000 locations in Nigeria, and this service allows picking up money in specified banks and post offices. Cash collection isn't convenient for large sums since it's risky to carry around large amounts.

Direct Bank Deposits

The receiver will get the money directly into their bank account, and although it is a safe method, it requires the receiver to have a valid account with a local bank. Money transfer providers offer this option, and transfers are often fast when using it.

Mobile Money

Although only a limited range of international money transfer providers offer this method, it's a convenient way of sending funds to Nigeria. The receiver needs to activate mobile money with their phone provider, or this service won't work.

What Do You Need to Receive Money in Nigeria?

The receiver should have these documents to collect the money:

  • Photo ID. It should be a document issued by the national government that's within the expiration date.

  • A valid bank account. It's necessary for bank transfers, although some institutions support opening accounts automatically when sending money to Nigeria.

  • A transaction reference number. It could be necessary for Western Union and similar services that offer cash pickup.

Top Money Transfer Providers to Send Money to Nigeria

Money Transfer ProviderFeesDeposit MethodsNigeria RegulatorWorldRemit0% on the first three transfers (code: 3FREE)Debit and credit cards, bank transfers, wire transfersCentral Bank of Nigeria (CBN)WiseUp to GBP 0.46 + 0.57%Debit and credit cards, bank transfers, wire transfers, cashCentral Bank of Nigeria (CBN)InstaremFrom USD 30Debit and credit cards, bank transfers, POLi, PayID, ACH, wire transfersCentral Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

WorldRemit – Best for Sending Money to Nigeria Overall

The platform promises to process 90% of all transfers on the same day. If you send USD, the receiver will get the same USD amount in Nigeria, so there are no fees involved. WorldRemit does earn by offering lower exchange rates than the mid-market options.

3 Steps to Start Using the Provider

  • Step 1: Visit the WorldRemit website and choose Nigeria and USD as the receiving currency.

  • Step 2: Check the rates and continue with the registration process if you are okay with them.

  • Step 3: Verify your account and finalize the transaction.

Best Alternatives

  • Ria Money Transfer, Remitly, XE Money Transfer

Wise – Best for Large Payments

Wise lowers its fees for larger sums, which begins at 0.57%, but can reduce to only 0.4% if you transfer over GBP1,000,000. The platform has a dedicated mobile app and supports business accounts with multi-currency options.

3 Steps to Start Using the Provider

  • Step 1: Visit Wise's page for sending money to Nigeria.

  • Step 2: Even if NGN is among the available currencies, the current regulations only allow USD payments.

  • Step 3: Enter the desired parameters, see if you are okay with the rates, and finalize the transaction.

Best Alternatives

  • Remitly, TransferGo, Western Union

Instarem – Best for Frequent Payments

Instarem offers fast transfers, which are often processed instantly or on the same day. They source the rates from Reuters, ensuring accurate data at any moment. The simple registration process ensures you can start moving funds quickly. Instarem offers overseas money transfers for businesses, but you'll need a separate account.

3 Steps to Start Using the Provider

  • Step 1: Instarem has a dedicated page for sending money to Nigeria.

  • Step 2: Enter the transaction details and confirm the rate suits your expectations.

  • Step 3: Finalize the payment and wait for the money to arrive.

Best Alternatives

  • XE Money Transfer, Ria Money Transfer, Western Union

What Are the Fastest Ways to Send Money to Nigeria?

Online money transfer providers allow moving funds to Nigeria instantly. You can track the transfer from your profile, but the funds are usually available immediately. Here are the services to go with if you need to send money to Nigeria quickly!

Money Transfer ProviderTransfer SpeedFeesWestern UnionInstantFrom EUR 3.90XE Money TransferInstant0% over USD 500; USD 3 up to USD 500InstaremInstantFrom USD 30

The trick is that you need to use specific payment methods for fast transfers, such as debit and credit cards. Some platforms will require choosing the express transaction option, which could come with a higher fee. The MTPs mentioned above offer a clear cost overview, so you'll know exactly how much you need to pay.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Send Money to Nigeria?

The cheapest money transfer services to send funds to Nigeria don't require any fees or only have small transaction charges. The platforms selected below offer decent exchange rates not far from mid-market prices, ensuring you don't lose much during the conversion!

Money Transfer ProviderFeesTransfer SpeedWorldRemit0% on the first three transfers (code: 3FREE)From 3 minutesRemitly0% on the first transfer; From USD 2.99From minutesTransferGoFrom EUR 0.99From 30 minutes

Some MTPs have a welcome offer that includes free transfers for the first transactions the providers noted above will provide fast transfers. Some quote-based money transfer services might support sending money to Nigeria, but they are slower than the MTPs.

What Is the Safest Way to Send Money to Nigeria?

Online money transfer providers need to comply with strict regulations in different countries. They obtain licenses to confirm they run a valid business. You should only stick to MTPs regulated by reputable financial authorities. Some operators take the next step and add more security features to maximize their trust with the users!

Money Transfer ProviderExtra Security OptionFeesWestern UnionFraud hotlineFrom EUR 3.99WiseSafeguarding fundsUp to GBP 0.46 + 0.57%RemitlyA detailed security guide0% on the first transfer; From USD 2.99

Major MTPs will safeguard your funds, which means keeping them in accounts separate from those used to run the company. Your money would be safe from any unexpected business problems and a fraud hotline and information on security and scams will help keep your mind at ease.

What Are the Best Apps to Send Money to Nigeria?

The following list are popular apps used for sending money to Nigeria from any location!

Money Transfer AppTransfer TimeFeesPayPalSame dayUp to 5%TransferGo1-4 business daysFrom EUR 0.99MoneyGramSame dayVary

Mobile apps support Android and iOS operating systems. You can use them on a wide range of devices, from iPad to tablets and smartphones. These apps are provided by tried and tested transfer names so they will run smoothly and be secure.

Things to Consider When Sending Money to Nigeria

The current regulations don't allow conversion to NGN, so the receiver in Nigeria will get USD. MTPs will convert other currencies to USD when sending money, and here are other things to consider before confirming the transaction!

Local Authorities

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the main financial regulator in the country. In its effort to increase remittance inflow, CBN introduced the Naira 4 Dollar Scheme. It discontinued payouts in the local Naira currency and only allows USD transfers.

The N4D scheme includes a cashback incentive where the CBN pays N5 for each USD1 sent to Nigeria. The receiver collects this reward when they pick up the money, whether they get it to a bank account or use the cash collection option. There's no indication when the scheme will end.

How Much You Are Sending Abroad

The amount you are sending to Nigeria depends on many factors. Some platforms, such as XE, limit the cash pickup transfers from the United States to USD500. They also impose a limit of five transactions daily.

WorldRemit mentions that the receiver needs to contact the bank to withdraw more than USD2,000 from their bank account. Depending on the MTP, you might encounter different daily and monthly restrictions, but there are platforms like Wise that support large money transfers to Nigeria.

The Cost of Money Transfer

Online money transfer services have two ways of earning money, and the first one is by imposing transaction charges. These could be fixed fees but also vary in sum. Many MTPs have a welcome offer that includes a free first transaction, as well as loyalty programs to lower these costs for regular customers.

MTPs also earn money via exchange rates, but their rates are usually lower than the ones of mid-market firms. Since only USD is available for sending money to Nigeria at this point, the rates shouldn't vary like they used to with NGN.

Payment Type and Reason for the Transfer

The most popular option for sending money to Nigeria includes a personal transaction. It could be a birthday gift, money to help a family member, etc.

Personal transfers are a basic service offered by all MTPs, and some operators also offer business transactions. The regulations make these more complex, so it's necessary to register a business account and follow the instructions closely. It could take more time for business transactions to process, especially for the first transfer.

Safety and Security of the Provider

While the Central Bank of Nigeria regulates the local financial industry, many MTPs have licenses from other reputable financial bodies. The providers on this page all have licenses from CBN, but also the UK's FCA and other authorities.

The security component also includes protective layers for the website and encrypted transactions. Applying the anti-money laundering (AML) regulations via know-your-customer (KYC) and similar programs also boosts the provider's security.

Tax Regulations in Nigeria

The local authorities don't have a cap on overseas money transfers to the country, and there won't be any taxation either unless the transaction is considered a trade.

While there's no exact definition, a trade is where the money coming into the country serves to pay for a certain product or service. PITA, or the Nigerian Personal Income Tax Act, regulates business transactions. You need to report business-related transfers, or you risk paying a 10% penalty. If you send money from the US, it is best to consult with a tax expert to see if you need to report the transaction to the IRS.

FAQs

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Aneeca Younas

Aneeca Younas

Combining her Master’s degree in Business Economics and her childhood dream was to become a journalist, Aneeca is now a writer for finance-related websites. Having years of experience with companies doing business in multiple markets, she got to know international money transfers inside and out, gladly sharing that knowledge to help readers make better-informed decisions.