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Send Money To Nigeria

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.

 

Updated: 26/07/2021
Read time: 16 minutes
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How To Send 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.

Ways To Send And Receive Money In Nigeria

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.

Sending Money To Nigeria
Receiving Money In Nigeria

Ways 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.

Online Money Transfer 

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):

  • Transfer to bank accountsBank transfers require the recipient to have a bank account you can transfer to, and you’ll need to have details such as their bank account number or sort code to hand.
  • Cash pickup – If the provider has an agent location accessible to your recipient, you can opt for this service. For instance, Western Union has 5,000 locations across Nigeria. This can be an excellent way of easily getting your money to your recipient if they do not have access to a bank account.
  • Transfer to a mobile wallet –Providers like Xendpay and TalkRemit offer transfer services to the mobile wallets of your beneficiaries in Nigeria. Mobile money is particularly popular in Nigeria because of the expense and difficulty accessing bank accounts, so is definitely an option to consider as the fastest way to send money to Nigeria.

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, WorldRemit, and Azimo.

Banks

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.

Checks and Money Orders

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.

What’s Needed to Send Money to Nigeria?

When transferring money to Nigeria, you’ll have to provide the following information:

  • Sender’s government-issued Identification Document (ID)
  • The beneficiary’s name in the order it appears on their government-issued ID
  • The beneficiary’s address
  • Sender’s mobile number
  • Recipient’s mobile number
  • The beneficiary’s bank account number and routing information
  • Sender’s credit or debit card information if using this to fund your transfers

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.

Best Ways to Send Money To Nigeria

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:

  • Offers cash pickups from agent locations across Nigeria. Make sure they have a location that your recipient can reach.
  • Offers international transfers to mobile wallets. If your recipient has mobile money set up with their phone provider (MTN is the most popular), sending money to their mobile should be a seamless and quick process.

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.

Cheapest Way To Send Money to Nigeria

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:

  • The provider you use
  • What payment method to opt for
  • How your recipient receives the money
  • The sum you are sending

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.

Fastest Way To Send Money To Nigeria

Money transfer providers are fastest way to send money to Nigeria. Provieders such as WorldRemit, Azimo, 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.

Things to Consider When Sending Money to Nigeria

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:

  • Double Exchange Rate Regimes  – Oil revenues have taken a hit in Nigeria subsequently weakening the Naira. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) decided to run a pegged currency exchange rate regime. The USD demand caused a parallel market to emerge with its own exchange rate. When sending money, you need to choose a provider who will give you a rate that is as close as possible to the parallel market rate.
  • Nigeria Diaspora Bond Investment Opportunity – With the economy cash-strapped, the Nigeria diaspora presents an opportunity for the government to get cash to plug in its budget deficits. Before sending money home for savings and investments, you should explore opportunities available. The 2017 diaspora bonds aimed at raising $300 million at rates of 5.625%. The bonds are due in 2022 which means you can buy them from the secondary market.
  • Use of the Amounts Remitted – Not every naira remitted is used exactly as directed. Some of the money could be reallocated and used to fund other less optimal causes. In the Dynamics of Remittance Utilization by Nigerian Households research study, expenditure on housing and building repairs was more than what the remitters have specified. 

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. Azimo, 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.

Your Questions Answered

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Looking to Send Money Somewhere Else? 

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 Merry

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