For many years, PayPal, the world’s most popular online money transfer platform, denied Nigerians access to its services. This denial wasn’t arbitrary, as it was necessitated by the fraudulent action of some Nigerian scammers who took pleasure in swindling buyers on EBay, PayPal’s mother company.
However, fast forward to Tuesday, June 17, 2014, PayPal made good on its two-week long promise to allow Nigerians to start using its services. But this permission wasn’t absolute—Nigerian users can only make purchases and send funds to PayPal users in other countries, but cannot receive or withdraw funds through the service.
Why PayPal came up with this restriction is best known to the company itself. While some have cited the notoriety of Nigerians for internet fraud as the most likely reason for the restriction, this might not be the case, considering that users in most other African countries are also not allowed to receive and withdraw funds. The question of whether the restriction will ever be lifted or how soon that will be can only be answered by PayPal.
Enough said about the restriction. Now, the restriction notwithstanding, the arrival of PayPal in Nigeria will create a good number of opportunities for Nigerian internet users. Here are five of these opportunities.
PayPal in Nigeria: 5 Opportunities It Will Create
1. Hassle free online purchases
With the arrival of PayPal in Nigeria, Nigerians will now be able to make online purchases that they were previously unable to make. Aside that you can now make payments right from the comfort of your room, you will have the funds delivered to the seller instantly, and you will be charged very low transaction fees. None of the previous payment solutions available to Nigerians offers all these advantages as much as PayPal does.
In addition, Nigerians can now buy high quality products and services from many online marketplaces—such as Fiverr—that accept only PayPal as means of payment. This means you will no longer have to settle for inferior or less preferred products and services.
2. Foreign money transfer made easy
Before now, Nigerians send money abroad using international money transfer services such as Western Union and Moneygram. But using these services comes with some degree of stress and ‘protocol’, such as having to visit a bank and fill a form before you could send money. Even if you are among the few who don’t see all those as strenuous, you will surely find PayPal a much easier alternative.
Another problem with the traditional money transfer services is the huge transaction fees charged. Imagine paying a whopping $25 for transferring $350 or about (that’s around 7%). If you think that’s fair enough, then trying comparing it with PayPal’s 2.5% plus $0.30 and you will see the difference.
3. More Nigerians can now embrace online business
Though several thousands of Nigerians are aware that the internet abound with opportunities to make money, most of them have been unable to kick-start their online businesses or make a headway because of payment issues.
Some people needed to buy a special script and host it online, but they cannot because they didn’t have a PayPal account. Some needed to buy certain software packages that will help them start their online businesses but they needed a PayPal account to make that happen. Some needed to purchase blog themes but couldn’t because they had no PayPal account. Others needed to start importing items in small scale from other countries to sell here in Nigeria, but they couldn’t make headway because they had no PayPal account. Now, all that is history.
4. Nigeria’s name will be erased from ‘black books’ on the web
All over the internet, the name Nigeria is regarded as a synonym for ‘fraud’ due to the various unethical practices Nigerians do engage in when online. One of these practices is trying to use alternative means to pay for products and services at all due to non-availability of PayPal. But this will now stop, and Nigerian can now start going about online transactions legitimately. With time, the country’s name will be cleared from ‘internet black books’.
5. More Nigerians will be enlightened about PayPal and online business
Before now, Nigerians had mixed perceptions about PayPal. Some considered having a PayPal account a luxury. Some thought a PayPal account will spontaneously pump cash into your bank account without you having to do anything. Some thought you must have a PayPal account before you can start any online business. And some even thought online business is all about having a PayPal account. Now, with PayPal’s arrival in Nigeria, people will have the right perception of PayPal and doing business online.