How do I operate a Paypal account in Nigeria?

I received an email from Hassan in Lagos recently, asking for guidance on how to use Paypal in Nigeria. I choose to answer him publicly so other interested parties can learn from my answer to him. Find his message below in full, unedited:

Hello David,

Saw your blog from search on Facebook. I was trusting your expertise on Paypal. I have dealt with Paypal with no success. I have had my accounts limited no once.

This happens whenever I received payments. I created a paypal button for my info prodct. I realized that the buyer gets the product but yet paypal asks for me to provide shipping details for the digital product that the buyer is already reading. Please, how do I supply shipping details of a downloadable product?

Now, my questions are:
How do I operate a paypal account in Nigeria safe n secure without limitation

How DO I withdraw the money myself? Specifically, how do I get my Credit card to transfer the PP funds into it and withdraw thru atm?

HOw DO I add a PP button to sell digital products without the money being limited?

I expect your swift, informative and practical response.

Thank you

Paypal Nigeria

Paypal is a global leader in the e-commcerce arena. Paypal has more users than any other website in the e-wallet business. However, it is critical to note that Paypal does not want to do business with residents of Nigeria at this time. Therefore, it is in your best interest to stay away from Paypal if possible especially when Paypal is NOT the only means by which you can accept payments online. There are some Paypal alternatives that gladly welcome residents of Nigeria.

As part of their anti-fraud measures, Paypal has developed a fully automated and highly sophisticated screening method over the years, that detect suspicions patterns in the use of their services. Despite the fact that they do not welcome residents of Nigeria, some find other ways to open Paypal accounts through other countries. Paypal knows this but waits till you receive payment or login from Nigeria. The account is then immediately “limited” with them asking you for documentation to prove your authenticity. Since you are not resident in the country you used in opening the Paypal account, chances are that you cannot supply the documentation they demand.

If you must continue to use Paypal, you can edit your Paypal account information in a way that it forces every buyer to enter their shipping address when making a purchase. It is also advisable that you use a shopping cart embedded with anti-fraud screening. This should reduce the incidents of fraudulent transactions drastically.

To your questions:

  • How do I operate a paypal account in Nigeria safe and secure without limitation?
    There is no safe way of operating Paypal from Nigeria. Since Nigeria is not welcome, they would find out your connection with Nigeria and limit your Paypal account automatically, asking you to supply some documentation in a bid to keep their system safe for everyone.
  • How do I withdraw the money myself? Specifically, how do I get my Credit card to transfer the PP funds into it and withdraw through ATM?
    Paypal does not allow you to add cards issued by a Nigerian financial institution. When you try, you would receive a message advising you about this. Therefore, the chances that you can add a card issued in Nigeria are slim. Note that the card has to be Visa and must be enabled for withdrawal by your financial institution before you can use it for withdrawing on Paypal.
    Another alternative is to find someone trust-worthy who would pay you cash when you send your Paypal funds to him/her.
    Opening a US Bank account is also another alternative. Your US Bank would issue you a Visa or Mastercard debit card you can use at ATMs while you can withdraw your Paypal funds to your US Bank account.
  • How do I add a PayPal button to sell digital products without the money being limited?
    Adding Paypal buttons to your website is simple and easy. Consult the Paypal documentation website for help about this. As advised earlier, using a shopping cart that has Paypal and anti-fraud screening modules is better. Zen-cart, OsCommerce, Magento are good shopping carts.

If you are tired of Paypal limiting your accounts, you should consider the Paypal alternatives here and read the Paypal related posts I have written in the past, as well.

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Oluniyi D. Ajao
Oluniyi D. Ajao is an Internet Entrepreneur and Tech Enthusiast based in South Africa. Follow him on twitter @niyyie for more tech updates.


  1. I think these measures apply to Ghana as well. I don’t blame them David. I would have done the same anyway. I think it is up to us to prove to Paypal that we are worthy of its introduction in West Africa.

    The payment platforms we have in Ghana are not the best, I hear there is a Bank of Ghana directive that has become a head-ache for them. I just hope someone somewhere somehow will one day come up with a Ghanaian Paypal or something close.

  2. This is my long term pet peeve about PayPal and this is very unfair to ALL African based publishers. I use PayPal on a regular basis to pay for services and products that I purchase online. This is because PayPal is the most popular form of payment on the internet therefore the majority of online retailers offer it as their payment option.

    If I had a chose, I would not in any way be using PayPal at all, because as an African I’m only allowed to send funds through their service and not receive funds.

    There are countless affiliate marketing programs, that I wish I could join and sell these products on my website, however because these publishers offer payment through PayPal, I’m not able to join.

    It’s unfortunate that PayPal, haven’t seen the bigger picture which Google managed to spot with their adsense program, by offering various payment options to suite all publishers across the globe.

    With Adsense, Google is able to pay by cheque, which is another payment method and this surely contributes positively increasing their publisher base. If ALL online retailers could adopt Google’s proactive ways of doing business…they’ll not be limiting their revenue potential.

  3. Hi,

    I am need a little advice with regards to paypal in Africa, not sure if you will have experience of this but here goes:

    I’m building a site for a conference that will be taking place in Ghana. The organisers have UK-based bank accounts with the Bank of Ghana. Will I be able to withdraw the attendence fees the the UK-based accounts or should we have a separate bank account with a UK bank from which we can then transfer the money to Ghana?



  4. Rimsite,

    If you know a legitimate way of doing it, why not just share it here?

    There’s no point in trying to follow any back door in online business/transactions. The fact that PayPal has refused to support this region should remind us of the lack of commitment by our leadership to ensure a secure environment for online business to strive. Interswitch (Nigerian Debit Card) started accepting online payment some years ago. This was laudable. However, majority of Nigerian banks have disabled the use of this online payment option on most of the sites that used to accept them, bringing us back to square zero.

    Well, I see great opportunities here. We have the population, Internet usage in West Africa has reached a significant level. There have been a number of individual efforts to develop a workable platform for online payment. I’m hopeful that in the very near future, we shall have a very well structured workable system.

  5. please can you tell me the site i can register for my paypal account… i would appreciate it, if you can send the details to my email.


  6. How do i withdraw the money my self? Specificall how do i get credit card to transfer the bank phb funds into and withdraw through atm.

  7. I want to start an online shop, selling electronic products, but i don’t know how to easily start accepting credit card payment from my customers worldwide. Please, i need an advice.


  9. Paypal, paypal, paypal! How do i open paypal. Enough of this paypal crap Nigerians and stick with online businesses that doesn’t require them. That’s my humble advice.


  10. Alright guys the Paypal problem will soon be activated for Nigeria, and other African countries, But If not there are still so many ways of getting a paypal account and recieving your money without been suspected by the Paypal…..This is it…..Risky…But Interesting.

  11. enough of this paypal, a unified africa internet gurus should put heads together and launch a unique payment system that can serve our continent and beyond we cannot always wait for already made things. it is now a challenge i Suppose. Charles Lagos

  12. My dears, there are other ways and means of exchanging money oversees. If PayPal is yet to work, let’s not look for shortcuts.I agree that the fact that PayPal has refused to support this region should remind us of the lack of commitment by our leadership to ensure a secure environment for online business to strive. I also agree that we need to prove to Paypal that we are worthy of its introduction in West Africa.

    We would not give up!! we must together make it work!!

  13. How do i make Payment to register a domain name and web host in order to create a “BLOG” since the mode of payment to obtain it is through Paypal and Credit card?

  14. Thank you for you article, quite informative. I just opened a paypal account which I attached to my American bank account and am hoping to use it ( from Nigeria) as checkout on my website real soon so fingers crossed.

  15. This is a great post and very informative as well. However, it is my humble opinion that you do not actually need PayPal in order to make money online in Nigeria. There are other viable alternatives for collecting payment online from Nigeria without encountering any of them. You should learn to use these instead.

  16. This is great info! Kudos to you. However, just one minor point though. There is need to exercise the greatest caution while using a PayPal account in Nigeria because any day any time PayPal can just get into their heads to limit your account or close it altogether when they discover that you are accessing your account from Nigeria. So, I advice that you exhaust all possible means of payment collection online, and if all else fails, before resorting to use PayPal.

  17. Hey paypal palava some guys are assuring that Paypal can be open and verified by USA.I think if possible the money can be spend on the net only and may not be able to withdrawal.Some services require to own Paypal account but they fear 9jer wa they know say we be ogbologbo opolo. That is why we need to change our attitude any where in the world. we are the change Nigeria need.


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