Update: My GTB Mastercard that didn’t work ealier now works and users facing the same problem have now verified their PayPal account. Perhaps PayPal was working on things on the day this was launched. Using a GTB Mastercard? Jide Ogunsanya of Ogbongeblog has a fine tutorial on how you can link your GTB Mastercard to your Nigerian PayPal account. By the way, P2P transaction isn’t yet enabled but we’re positive this would change sooner or later.
We recently published an article asking anyone who cared to listen to please sign a petition to bring PayPal to Nigeria on Change.org and thankfully, the service went live for Nigerians today! Nigerians can now legally have a PayPal account and that’s good news. It’s unclear if PayPal already had it in its plans to bring the service to Nigeria even before we started signing the petition or not, but to CreativityKills (who took the initiative) and everyone who signed the petition, it’s like a dream come true.
Along with Nigeria, PayPal has also extended its service to 9 other countries. This includes 3 other African nations — Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and Zimbabwe and five European markets — Belarus, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco and Montenegro, and also Paraguay.
Users in these countries can now use PayPal just like in other countries worldwide but there are certain limitations in place for now.
PayPal accounts holders in the newly enlisted countries can only send money for now. This means they can check out on merchant websites using PayPal and pay securely using their credit or debit cards without exposing their financial details. As PayPal claims, this is free for users and any charge would be covered by the merchant.
At the moment, it’s impossible to send money directly to other PayPal users and of course, you can’t receive payments directly with your PayPal account. Perhaps PayPal is trying to play safe and see how it goes before allowing users in these countries full access to their services but that is yet to be seen.
While some embraced this as a welcome development with the hope the service would fully roll out for Nigerians in the nearest future, others are disappointed with the limitations.
Linking Nigerian Debit Cards and Bank Accounts
I tried linking my GTBank Mastercard which I’ve been using for online payments but I was unable to do this as this error came up:
I also tried linking my bank account but this feature is not enabled yet for Nigerians:
Should You Ditch Your “Other” PayPal Account Yet?
A lot of Nigerians and users from similar countries operate PayPal accounts outside their region and the thought of ditching that account might come to mind. If you’re a freelancer and work on Fiverr, Odesk and other similar sites, chances are that you have a foreign PayPal account operated through proxy or VPN. It’s not advisable to fully switch to your Nigerian PayPal account now since you can’t receive payments directly.
The service is still pretty crippled at this stage but we only hope it gets better with time.