In the U.S., Nigerians account for the largest contemporary African immigrant group. More than 266,000 American residents claimed Nigerian heritage in the 2006 American Community Survey. Nigerians are also among the larger immigrant groups in the UK, with their population in the country standing at over 200,000 according to the country’s 2011 census.
Nigerians outside of Nigeria need to send money back home for a variety of reasons. Besides, people travelling to the country may need to make payments toward hotels and car rentals. What, then, are best ways to send money to Nigeria? Before you arrive at an answer, you need to consider aspects such as how much you wish to send, your desired payment and transfer methods, as well as turnaround times.
Here are your options when it comes to sending money to Nigeria.
Most leading international banks allow fund transfers to bank accounts in Nigeria. Bank transfers may take up to six business days to process. You will, in all likelihood, need to pay a steep fee, in the absence of which you might get a less-than-desirable exchange rate. Banks also give you the option of sending checks and money orders to Nigeria.
Money transfer companies
There are several prominent overseas fund transfer companies that facilitate payments going into Nigeria. Depending on how you want the recipient to get the transferred funds, your options include:
● Bank account transfers. Companies such as TransferWise, WorldFirst, TorFX, and OFX give you easy means to send money to bank accounts in Nigeria. TransferWise lets you transfer funds using no more than a recipient’s email address, in which case the recipient then withdraws funds into a local bank account.
● Transfers to cash pickup centers. Some international fund transfer companies let you send money to cash pickup centers in Nigeria. Examples include WorldRemit, Western Union, Xoom, and MoneyGram. While transfers to cash pickup centers are quicker than bank account transfers, they tend to come with noticeably higher fees.
● Topping up mobile airtime. Among the top overseas fund transfer companies, WorldRemit lets you top up mobile airtime in Nigeria as does Ria.
Factors You Need to Consider
Do not proceed with a transfer before taking these aspects into account:
● Cost. This includes the fee you need to pay as well as the exchange rate you get. Remember that even a small difference in exchange rate can have a telling effect on how much money the recipient receives, especially if you transfer a large sum. The easiest way to deal with this aspect is to look at how much money the recipient stands to receive.
● Sending limits. Sending limits may vary according to the company you select, your country of residence, the payment method, and the transfer method.
● Payment methods. There’s a good chance you will be able to pay for your transfer using your bank account. Some companies accept payments via debit and credit cards as well.
● Transfer methods. Most overseas fund transfer companies that serve Nigeria let you transfer funds to local bank accounts. Some let recipients collect transferred funds from cash pickup locations, and some let you top up mobile airtime.
● Turnaround time. If the recipient needs money in a hurry, you may consider transferring funds to a cash pickup center because these transfers process almost straightaway. With transfers to bank accounts, the process may take one to six or more business days depending on the company you work with, how you pay for your transfer, and the destination bank.
● Customer service. This aspect requires particular attention if you plan to transfer funds from time to time because you may need to get in touch with a company representative at some point. Some companies offer live chat, some offer over-the-phone support, and most let you get in touch via email. Online platforms such as Trustpilot and Feefo give you easy means to find out what real customers have to say about these companies.
The option you should select for your next fund transfer to Nigeria depends on multiple factors, so it is important that you take your individual needs into account at the very onset. Since no one company suits all, compare your options well.