Looking to find out how to send money to Nigeria? Whether you’re an expat sending money back home to support your family, or you’re looking to send money to Nigeria for another reason altogether, there are a number of options available to you. The cost of sending money to Nigeria can vary significantly depending on the service you use, so in this guide, we’ve provided an in-depth look into the best, cheapest, and fastest way to send your money internationally, plus anything else you might need to know about getting your money to Nigeria.
How to send money to Nigeria is a fairly straightforward process whatever provider you use. Follow these steps to get started:
Step 1: Compare providers to find the best service for you
The cost of your international transfer to Nigeria can vary greatly depending on which provider you use, so comparing all the options available to you should be your first step. Our comparison form provides an unbiased, transparent look into the best money transfer providers for you, comparing rates, fees, transfer times and more.
Step 2: Register with your chosen provider
Most providers will be completely free to sign up to, simply requiring your name, address and contact information. You may also need to upload a picture of a valid photo ID to verify your identity. It’s important to make sure that the provider you are using does actually support transfers to Nigeria from the country you are located in.
Step 3: Start your transfer
Set up your transfer by providing your recipient’s information (name, contact details, and bank account information if you are selecting this payout method), the sum you are sending, the currency you are converting to, and your payment details. You should be given an estimate of how long your transfer will take to reach your recipient.
Nigera is one of Africa’s most populous countries, composed of 36 autonomous states. The country is one of Africa’s main oil producers, and the economy of Nigeria is therefore largely led by the price of petroleum. The country was thus largely affected by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, with millions plunged below the poverty line – World Bank predicts the number of Nigerians living below the poverty line to increase by 12 million in 2019–23.
There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Nigeria but these will largely depend on the provider you decide to use. Below you will find everything you need to know about the best way to send money to Nigeria.
If you want to send money to your family, relatives and friends in Nigeria, there are several options available. You can use bank transfers, online money transfers, checks, and money orders.
An online money transfer is often the fastest, simplest, and cheapest option to use when transferring money to Nigeria compared to using a bank or money order.
Senders have the option of transferring money from the website, mobile apps, or deposit cash from physical stores, with some providers even utilising platforms such as Facebook messenger for an even more seamless user experience.
To send money to Nigeria through online money transfer services, you’ll have to first sign up for a free account. Through your account, you can choose to send money via a bank transfer, or by paying via credit/debit card or cash.
Once your account is set up, you can use any of the options below to move your money across to the recipient (although not all provider will offer all of these options):
There are several money transfer service providers you can use to send money to Nigeria. We’ve put together a list of top 10 money transfer companies, however, some of the popular ones include Western Union, MoneyGram, Xoom, TransferWise, and WorldRemit.
An estimated 39% of Nigeria’s adult population is unbanked, so bank transfer may not always be the best method of sending money in Nigeria. With so many people without access to a bank account, it can be difficult to get vital funds back home to support family and friends via a bank transfer.
This is where MTOs really stand out, offering alternatives such as mobile money and cash pickups.
This mode of money transfer is the oldest and, as you might expect, the slowest way of transferring money internationally. It involves one or more intermediary banks that facilitate the movement of funds between the sending bank and the receiving bank. It is relatively expensive, and the exchange rate given can be punitive. That being said, money orders are a secure way of sending money and maybe a preferred option for anyone who would prefer to organise a transfer in-person.
Western Union, MoneyGram, UBA, GTBank, and First Bank are some of the providers that support money orders and checks.
When transferring money to Nigeria, you’ll have to provide the following information:
The information required may differ depending on the service provider and method of money transfer you choose. However, you should have all the above information ready whenever you send money to Nigeria.
The following are the options open to receiving money:
Through the bank– This is where funds will be deposited directly into your recipient’s bank account. There are 24 commercial banks in Nigeria capable of facilitating transfers. Again, this may not be the most popular option for many if your recipient does not have access to banking services.
Through Mobile Phone -If you are registered and activated for mobile money through your phone provider, you can receive money directly through your mobile phone. Money transfer providers that offer this service include WorldRemit, making international transfers more accessible for more people.
Cash Pickup – You can receive money through Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria or other providers who offer in-person collection services. In addition to having thousands of locations in Nigeria, most providers have partnered with commercial banks from where you can collect your money.
When picking up the cash, choose an agent at a secure location near you. For safety, you could also ask a friend to accompany you, pick up the money during daylight hours or deposit it as soon as you collect it.
If you receive a notification asking you to go pick up your money, you should have the following information at hand (note: your particular provider may ask you for more or less details, but should specify this in your notification):
The best way to send money to Nigeria will almost always be by using a money transfer operator that supports transfers from your country. Money transfer providers not only have lower rates and more competitive exchange rates than banks, but also offer a number of different payment and delivery options. If you are looking to send money to charities, check out our guide to Top 20 Charities in Nigeria.
In a country where in estimated 90 million people are thought to have no access to banking services, the alternative payout options such as cash pickups, mobile money, and mobile airtime top-ups offered by money transfer operators provide a unique opportunity to get your money to your recipient easily, quickly, and more efficiently than ever.
If this is a priority for you, look for a money transfer provider that:
Overall, the best way to send money to Nigeria will vary depending on where you are based, how much you are sending, and how you need your recipient to pick up the funds on the other side. Our transparent money transfer comparison engine provides an in-depth look into all of these things and more so you can find the best service for your needs.
As a rule, money transfer providers tend to be the cheapest way to send money to Nigeria. What can make a huge different in the total cost of your transfer is:
As an example, if you were sending money from the UK to Nigeria in cash with WorldRemit (with the funds to be converted to US dollars), you would be looking at fees starting from £0.99. If you were to send the same amount as an airtime top-up, alternatively, fees would start from £0. A cash pickup, mobile wallet, or airtime top-up international transfer does tend to be cheaper than a bank transfer, but it’s also worth considering what is most convenient for your recipient.
Money transfer providers are fastest way to send money to Nigeria. Provieders such as WorldRemit, TorFx, and PaySend are able to process your transfer within the hour, and perhaps even faster if you are sending a cash pickup or mobile money transfer.
Importantly, you’ll want to make sure the money transfer operator you are looking at does actually support international transfers from your sending country. Additionally, it’s worth considering whether cost or speed is a bigger priority for you. The fastest transfer provider is rarely going to be the cheapest, and vice versa.
It is possible to send money from any country to Nigeria. However, a few things you may want to keep in mind when sending money include:
Other factors to consider include the location of the recipient and the speed of transfer. If the beneficiary is in rural areas with no mainstream banking services, you would be better off using cash pickup or mobile wallet transfer methods. If you are sending money home for emergencies, you need a guarantee of faster delivery. Currencies Direct, Xendpay and Ria can give you under 30 minutes transfers.
During this time of economic shocks and instabilities, you need to be extra cautious when sending money to your loved ones in Nigeria. Check out the various sending options, prepare in advance the information you need to provide, analyze the various benefits offered by the different providers and lastly consider the factors back at home before sending. This will guarantee you value for money and peace of mind.
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Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to Nigeria. If you’re looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations.
Jonathan is the founder and editor of MoneyTransfers.com. Jonathan is highly experienced in the currency transfer market, having previously worked in the FX trading industry, alongside being an avid traveller. Using his knowledge he identified a need for transparency and further education to help people save money on their money transfers, leading to the creation of MoneyTransfers.com