The most popular online payment service provider in the world: PayPal is officially in Nigeria. PayPal, through one of its executives, announced the good news on Monday the 16th of June 2014. The good news quickly turned sour as Nigerians found out that they can only enjoy about 10% of PayPal's features.
PayPal is an international e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. With just an email address and a password, you can open a PayPal account, transfer money and make payment worldwide in exchange for goods and services without sharing your financial information with the seller. PayPal's popularity is also an added advantage as almost all international online businesses accept payment via PayPal.
How to open a PayPal account in Nigeria
It has been difficult for Nigerians to do business with the rest of the world over the internet because PayPal: the preferred way to make and receive payments online was not available in Nigeria. PayPal is now officially doing business with Nigerians in Nigeria so anyone in Nigeria can open a PayPal account with a Nigerian address and link a Nigerian issued debit card to the account.
Follow the steps below to open a PayPal account in Nigeria:
Step 1: Visit www.paypal.com/ng and click "Sign Up"
Step 2: Select "Nigeria" under "Your country or region" and click "Open an account" inside the "Individual" section if you want to open an individual account or click "Open an account" inside the "Business" section if you want to open a business account.
*PayPal for business is for merchants who buy and sell online using their company name.
Step 3: Fill in your details and click "Agree and Create Account".
Step 4: Enter your card details and click "Continue". PayPal will accept Visa and Master cards issued by any Nigerian bank.
At this stage, your account has been created and an email with an activation link has been sent to the email address you entered in the registration process. Proceed to step 5 to activate your PayPal account.
Step 5: Login to your email account (the same email you entered in step 3 above). Locate and open the email from PayPal and click the activation link in the email. You will be redirected to PayPal's login page. Login to PayPal to view your new account.
How to verify your Nigerian PayPal account
Every new PayPal account in Nigeria has a spending limit of about N40,000. Once your account gets verified, the limit is lifted and you can spend as much as you can. Follow the steps below to verify your PayPal account.
Step 1: Login to PayPal and click the "Get Verified" link.
Step 2: You will be redirected to a page asking you to confirm your card for verification. The card details you entered in the registration process will be displayed on the page. Click "Continue". PayPal will deduct about N320 from your account which they will return in 24 hours.
Step 3: Log out of PayPal and wait for your verification code which will be inside the SMS or email debit alert from your bank. The verification code looks like this: PP*1234CODE. The 4-digit number is the verification code.
Step 4: Log in to your PayPal account and click "Confirm my debit or credit card". Enter the 4-digit code and click "Confirm card". Your PayPal account has been verified. Click "My account >> Overview" to confirm this (see screen shot below).
Using PayPal in Nigeria
PayPal's long awaited entry into Nigeria was received with mixed feelings. Nigerians, especially online marketers were happy to receive PayPal into Nigeria but sad to find out that PayPal's Nigerian version has numerous limitations. In other words, PayPal has not unlocked its full functionality to Nigerians yet. At the moment Nigerians can only use about 10% of PayPal's features.
Sending and receiving money with PayPal
PayPal has not yet activated peer-to-peer money transfer in Nigeria. This simply means that Nigerians CANNOT send money to other PayPal users neither can they receive money from other PayPal users (for now). However, PayPal users in Nigeria CAN pay for goods and services with their PayPal accounts (as long as a debit card has been linked to their accounts) when they buy from international merchants who use PayPal.
Linking PayPal to a Nigerian bank account
It is impossible to link your PayPal account with your Nigerian bank account as this service is not available at the moment. Hopefully, this limitation will be removed in the nearest future.
Funding your PayPal account
Nigerians cannot add funds to their PayPal accounts for now which is not bad considering the fact that we cannot send funds nor link our bank accounts. However, you can pay for goods and services with PayPal when you shop from a PayPal merchant. The funds will be deducted directly from your linked debit card.
PayPal's partnership with FirstBank
The news about PayPal's partnership with First Bank is no longer new. According to First Bank, Nigerians can open a PayPal account directly from their FirstOnline account (First Bank's internet banking platform). Surprisingly, apart from getting automatic verification (as against 24 to 48 hours verification with other banks), the FirstBank-PayPal partnership offers NO OTHER BENEFIT. Maybe they are working on something... Time will tell.