Send Money To Nigeria

Nigeria ranks top in Africa and fifth globally as a remittance destination behind India, China, Philippines and Mexico. The country has seen a significant rise in inflows year on year for the past two decades.  

Despite the rise in remittances, Nigeria, much like other sub-Saharan Africa countries faces some of the highest money transfer costs. The World Bank Group Q3 2018 Remittance Prices Worldwide report shows that Africans in the diaspora spend 8.96% on average to send money home against a 6.94% global average.

However, the costs vary depending on the service provider and the mode of transfer you choose. Therefore, before sending money home, it helps to know the different ways you can do so and what you are required to provide. 

For your loved ones, you need to know how they can receive the remittances, any documentation they need to provide and other considerations to make when sending.

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USD
NGN
United States
Nigeria
United States
Nigeria
Amount Received 332,298.10 NGN
Fees: 9 USD
Rate: 335.3159*
Payment Options Speed
Bank Transfer 3-5 Days
Debit Card 3-5 Days
Key Features
  • Internationally renowned bank
Visit Site
Amount Received 330,168.39 NGN
Fees: 10 USD
Rate: 333.5034*
Payment Options Speed
Bank Transfer 3-5 Days
Debit Card 3-5 Days
Key Features
  • Internationally renowned bank
Visit Site
Current Mid-Market Rate:   1 USD = 362.5037 NGN
* Some rates may be indicative.

How To Send Money To Nigeria

Sending money to Nigeria is simple and easy. Follow these steps to get started.

Find a Trusted Provider

Use our comparison table to find the best provider for your needs.

Sign Up and Deposit

Sign up with the provider and deposit the amount you want to transfer.

Transfer Money

As soon as you're ready, you can start sending money online.

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 sending and receiving money.

    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 or checks and money orders. 

    Online Money Transfer 

    Online money transfer is the fastest, simplest, and cheapest option to use when transferring money to Nigeria. 

    Senders have the option of transferring money from the website, mobile apps, or deposit cash from physical stores. Some of the providers allow their clients to use Facebook messenger or Sendbot.

    To send money through online money transfer services, you’ll have to first sign up for an account. Funding the account is simple and can be done using debit cards, credit cards, bank transfers or cash deposits.

    Once you’ve funded your account; you can use any of the options below to move your money across to the recipient. The choice of method depends on your personal preferences and those of the beneficiary. Below are the different modes you can use:

    • Transfer to bank accounts – Bank transfers require the recipient to have an account you can transfer.
    • Cash pickup – If the provider has an agent location accessible to the beneficiary, you can opt for this service. For instance, Western Union has 5,000 locations across Nigeria.
    • Transfer to Mobile Wallet –Providers like Xendpay and TalkRemit offer transfer services to the mobile wallets of your beneficiaries in Nigeria. 

    There are several money transfer service providers you can use to send money to Nigeria. Some of the popular ones include Western Union, MoneyGram, Xoom, TransferWise, WorldRemit, and Azimo.

    Banks, Checks and Money Orders

    This mode of money transfer is the oldest and expectedly the slowest. 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.

    Though not commonly used, money orders and cheques are still are a valid way to send money to Nigeria. 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?

    Money transfer service providers are fully aware of the financial risks involved in sending and receiving money. Therefore, they require senders to provide identification documentation. 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.

    What are the Ways of Receiving Money in Nigeria?

    Much like the senders’ options, beneficiaries in Nigeria can receive money in many different ways. They can pick it up from agents, receive it into their mobile wallets, and bank accounts.

    The following are the options open to receiving money in Nigeria:

    Through the bank- This applies to bank transfers. The beneficiary must have a bank account where the sender will transfer the money. There are 24 commercial banks in Nigeria capable of facilitating transfers.

    Through Mobile Phone -If you are registered and activated for a mobile wallet, you can receive money directly through your mobile phone.

    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. You can also tag a friend along, pick up the money during daylight hours or deposit it as soon as you collect it.

    What is Required to Receive Money in Nigeria?

    If you receive a notification asking you to go pick up your money, there is some information you should carry along with you. The information required will vary depending on the provider and the mode of money transfer you choose. Notwithstanding the variations, you should have the following information at hand.

    • A valid government-issued ID with the name on it matching that provided by the sender
    • The PIN or reference number sent to you by the sender. Providers such as Ria, Western Union and MoneyGram use the reference number to complete the transaction. Without it, you cannot receive the money.

    You don’t need to provide any identification documents if the sender deposited the money into your mobile wallet or bank account.

    Common Reasons For Sending Money to Nigeria

    According to the World Bank’s Migration and Remittances Data, Nigerians in the diaspora remitted a total of US $25.1 billion in 2018. Compared to the 2017 remittance this is a 14% increase. The United Kingdom and the United States account for over half of these remittances.

    In a study entitled ‘Dynamics of Remittance Utilization by Nigerian Households,’ the authors found that remittances to Nigeria were for the following reasons:

    Education

    This comprises money used to pay school fees and cater for related costs. The money sent home could be saved up or given directly to the institutions or siblings who can then withdraw and pay for the education.

    Savings

    Deposited in financial institutions for future use or investment. A lot of immigrants from Nigeria are looking to save for assets back home. These may include land or housing. 

    Healthcare

    A large portion of money sent back to Nigeria is for the healthcare of the loved once. This includes paying for medical costs for ageing parents and young siblings giving a piece of mind to the sender and the family abroad.

    Household Spendings and Support

    This is where the lion's share of remittances goes. Families use the money sent to buy food items. Sometimes money is sent back home for social support. Social support helps to lift the status and profile of immigrants. Senders designate some of the funds they send to support marriage, funerals and donations.

    Housing and Building Repair

    This depends on the instructions given. Part of the money sent by immigrants could be used to repair existing buildings or to put up new housing units for the family or the immigrant.

    Investment in market instruments and other assets

    The money sent to Nigeria can may be used to buy shares, bonds, land and other investments assessed based on potential returns. This provides extra income for the families of the sender.  

    Loans Repayment

    These could be loans taken to facilitate the relocation of  or loans that family members took for other uses.

    Small Business

    Immigrants from Nigeria may help fund startups or support existing businesses, boosting cash flows to keep them afloat.

    The use of the money as specified by those sending may not necessarily be the actual use by the households. Beneficiaries may alter the usage of funds to suit their immediate and most pressing needs.

    Why Send Money With a Money Transfer Service?

    Whether you are making regular transfers or simply a one-off, money transfer services can be of great value. They are cheap, fast, and secure.

    Many of the transfer services have different options for sending money. These methods ensure convenience and inclusion for beneficiaries in far removed areas from formal banking institutions. Below are the specific benefits of money transfer services.

    Better Exchange Rates

    Most money transfer services use the mid-market rate. It is the midpoint exchange rate between the buy and sell rates. This exchange rate gives you a better conversion to the Nigerian Naira for all sending currencies.

    Faster Transfers

    Typically, online money transfer services take minutes to send money across to recipients. For the shortest transfer times, send your money using debit or credit cards. Bank deposits may take days depending on the type of bank, the time and day of transfer. Transfers done on Friday may take longer because of the weekend.

    Supports Many Countries and Currencies

    You can send money from virtually any country to Nigeria. Money transfer services are expanding very fast. Ria has 350,000 agents across 149 countries. MoneyGram also has 350,000 agent locations but operates in 200 countries. Western Union has the biggest network. It has 500,000 agent locations spread in 200 countries.

    Safe and reliable transfers

    Money transfer services have invested heavily in industry-leading technology that helps to secure personal details and the money sent. For instance, WorldRemit uses Android Pay for in-app transfers. Other providers are Extended Validation SSL certified and conduct thorough identification verification and security monitoring 24/7.

    Simplicity and Flexibility

    Setting up and funding your transfer is very easy and less tasking. With just your name and email address, you can sign up for an account. There are different ways of funding your account. You can use a debit card, credit card, cash deposit, bank transfer, PayPal and other payment options.

    Lower Transfer Charges

    When sending large amounts or doing frequent transfers, using money transfer services can save you a lot in charges. Some of them charge you between 80-90% lower than traditional banks. Most of the providers run price-comparison research across currencies, countries and price points to help them keep their transfer prices low.

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    Things to Consider When Sending Money to Nigeria

    It is possible to send money from any country to Nigeria. However, there are factors to consider are such as the parallel exchange rates in Nigeria, alternative investment opportunities, actual end use of the amounts remitted, location of beneficiaries and speed of transfer.

    • 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

    What’s The Fastest Way To Send Money To Nigeria?
    The fastest way to transfer money to Nigeria is through MoneyGram. Now, you can expect similarly fast speeds from Ria Money Transfer or Western Union’s fast service. However, if you choose Western Union’s fast service, you will have to pay among the highest possible fees, and Ria Money Transfer is quite pricey as well. If you use either of the three services mentioned in the above paragraph, you can expect minimal wait times. It should be a matter of minutes before your money is in a Nigerian bank account.
    What’s The Cheapest Way To Send Money To Nigeria?
    The cheapest method to send funds to Nigeria is through Ria Money Transfers. Ria Money Transfers is an online money transfer service that provides remittances to many different countries, including Nigeria. The process of sending funds to Nigeria through Ria Money Transfers is a simple one that is like most transfers to a bank account in Nigeria. Once you add up all the fees, you are paying less with Ria Money Transfers. You may notice that many other services offer lower initial fees. However, when you consider BOTH the fees AND the hidden conversion costs, Ria Money Transfers comes out the cheapest. The only catch is that you need to use their slow service to gain access to their low conversion fees. If you are ok spending a bit more money, but still not much, MoneyGram is a much faster alternative, and it is still among the cheapest options available to you, even though it’s considerably more than Ria Money Transfers. Expect changes in exchange rates to cause fluctuations in the cost of sending money online to Nigeria.
    What’s The Easiest Way To Send Money To Nigeria?
    The easiest way to send funds to Nigeria is through an online transfer service. Most online transfer services use the same simple 3-step process for transferring money. TransferWise and TransFast both provide simple services that make it easy to transfer money online to NGA.
    Current Exchange Rates For Nigeria

    The current exchange rate for American Dollars (USD) to Nigerian Naira (NGN) is 1 USD for approximately 362.5037 NGN. The high for the last 90 days was 363.0003 NGN per USD, while the low was 360.0003 NGN for every USD with the average of 361.7419 NGN per USD in the last 3 months.

    The volatility was 0.23%, so exchange rates should remain relatively constant, barring unforeseen circumstances.

    What’s The Overall Best Way To Transfer Money To Nigeria?
    When all of the factors are considered, MoneyGram would appear to be the best method to transfer money to NGA (Nigeria). MoneyGram’s costs aren’t the lowest, but their hidden conversion costs are very low, whether you are in the US, UK, or elsewhere. You can always see the fees they charge, which are reasonable considering how fast they always are. Likewise, MoneyGram is also one of the fastest services available to you. Your money can get from you to the final destination in Nigeria in a matter of minutes. The mix of low cost, predictability, and speed make MoneyGram well worth considering. You can read our money transfer company reviews to find out more.

    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
    Written By
    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