You probably know what Paypal is. The payment system used by millions all over the world. It’s good because it keeps your financial records secure while revealing only your (Paypal) email address to anyone with whom you wish to transact business. For this reason, it is very popular among the low to medium income bracket, and even among multinationals that wish to have transactions across profiles. Unfortunately Paypal has not opened itself to countries such as Nigeria and Myanmar, understandably because of Internet fraud attributed to such places.
This puts a serious disadvantage on honest Nigerians who want to take advantage of the globalization offered by the Internet. Paypal has joined to make them doubly a parish nation. If you want to open a Paypal account from Nigeria, you will notice that the country’s name is not included in the drop-down list of countries. The company goes a step further, confirming your location through your IP (Internet Protocol) address. It is with this latter tech tool that they catch those who try to circumvent their protection. Well, there’s a way around it.
If you do a search on the Internet for terms such as “verifying Paypal from Nigeria”, “using Paypal from Nigeria”, etc, you will get quite an amount of information, but little by little Paypal tightens its processes to make these more difficult. The method I use, which works for me, and has worked for over two years (I receive and pay from Paypal) is practically foolproof.
First, there is one thing you must never do on Paypal – log into your account from Nigeria! But, how else can I use my account? We’ll answer that later.
To open a Paypal account, you log on to paypal.com, fill a simple form and register. You will then need to link a source of funds to your account. Typically, this is your bank account and your credit (debit) card. This is a further check by Paypal because these latter two are domiciled in a place. Nigerians cannot do this.
I think this article will be shorter if I go straight to explaining what I did, and do.
1) I bought a VPS (Virtual Private Server) from a US-based hosting company. I pay $20 per month for this (paid with my Nigerian Visa/MasterCard). The VPS gives me static IP address located in the US. I installed Ubuntu on it with KDE (graphical interface). I installed NX client on my local system and with this I do a Remote Desktop into my US based VPS. It is from there I browse to Paypal website. To all intents and purposes, I am a US-based user.
I use Paypal for my business (International clients buy my online products with this), so the investment of $20 monthly is worth it.
2) I got a US-based friend to agree to use his name to open the Paypal account. So the account is in his name, the bank account is his and the credit cards are his. He did not need to give any of these financial details to me. I gave him the Paypal username and password and he entered these details himself. Of course we trust each other.
This does not stop me having the Paypal account in my business name. Paypal allows you to use add as business name a name different than that of the account.
3) Now whenever I need to use Paypal for anything, I ALWAYS log in using the VPS.
If Paypal notices an IP address from Nigeria logging into my account, they will block the account and notify ME that there has been a possible security breach by a third person on my account and they had to block it to protect ME! They will then require me to make direct contact with them to confirm ownership.
Now this is obviously a tricky step because I am in Nigeria. This is where my friend comes in handy again. He makes all the calls. But there is a way out of it. Buy MagicJack telephone service for $20 a year. It gives you a US telephone number and free calls to the US for one year. It works on your Internet connection. With this, you can place a call TO the US and FROM the US while remaining IN Nigeria.
With this type of access, I also enjoy the use of EBay (Unfortunately also owned by Paypal) to buy products from all over the world and send to Nigeria.
I admit this is such a laborious process, just to get to use Paypal. But I guess if you’re reading this to the end, you do need to get Paypal. Good luck!