How to use Paypal from Nigeria

I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time.  I better start now though I may not finish it in one go.

For reasons known only to Paypal, Nigeria is not one of the countries from which it does not allow registration.  That is a big pain because many online shopping especially by small to medium scale business accept this form of payment.  It is even worse that Ebay (a very popular shopping and auction site) is also owned by Paypal, to which it applies the same strict non-Nigerian rules.  Pity!

However, I live and work in Nigeria and I do own and operate a Paypal account.  Here I will tell you how I manage it.  None of it is illegal as far as I know hence I’m posting it.  Paypal may get to read this but I will be telling them nothing new since most of the restrictions they put anyhow is to protect the owner’s money, and not necessarily (I hope) does it imply a hatred of Nigeria.  Many Nigerians abroad have and use Paypal so it’s not a national thing – just security consciousness on Paypal’s part.  Anyhow, enough rantings, here goes:

Caveat: the method I use is a bit ‘complicated’ in setting up for the first time but worth the effort I believe.

Now, to register a Paypal account, you require

1) To be domiciled in any of the allowed countries (or at least have an address in any of those)
and to have your Paypal account “verified” (failing which the amount you can send is limited), you have to
2) Attach either a bank account or a debit/credit card to your account

I have a relative living outside Nigeria, so I used her address (with her consent) to register the Paypal account.  I also used her debit card to get the account verified.  She entered these details herself so I do not know them.  This ignorance of her account details on my part is an important piece of information as you shall see below.

Sorry!  I can hear you groan.  You thought I was going to suggest a method that bypassed any of these?  I know there are many on the Internet offering solutions that seem easier (if they actually do work) but I’m telling you what I did.

In any case that is not all.  Even after registering and “verifying” a Paypal account in the way outlined above, the day you access your brand new and beautiful Paypal account from Nigeria, that account will be blocked!  And Paypal will send YOU an email telling you they have blocked it for your own safety.  That of course happened because the IP address of the Internet Service Provider with which you accessed Paypal’s site came from Nigeria!  It’s an auto-check.

Now, if some person outside Nigeria helped you with her bank details to verify the account, you meet another stumbling block because the only way to have Paypal unblock your account access is to provide them sensitive bank details which only the valid bank account holder (your kind relative) can provide.

How to prevent this IP check?  I do what in computer-terms is called “Remote Desktop Access”.

For business reasons, I have a computer server outside Nigeria.  If you buy web hosting from a web hosting provider such as Hostgator (not shared hosting, but a “Virtual Private Server” that gives you root access) there are configurations online that enable you access those computers from Nigeria and then from there browse the Internet (including Paypal’s site), in such a way that Paypal “thinks” you’re browsing from outside Nigeria.  I have thus operated my Paypal account for more than 3 years now without a hitch.

Another way to “mask” your IP address is to use VPN (Virtual Private Network) as for example itshidden dot com

Others have different experiences and perhaps better and easier advice than what I provide here.

Kindly share…

27 thoughts on “How to use Paypal from Nigeria”

  1. HELLO GINGER
    Ur post is very helpful nd i think its one of the best method for using paypal in a restricted country like nigeria.
    my question is:
    After probably negotiating with a friend outside nigeria to use his/her account details to verify the paypal account, does d process involve any tax payment esp. in a country like uk?

    secondly i need a detailed explanation in setting up a vpn or owning a foriegn server.
    thanks in advance

  2. I am still searching for a way to open and verify a paypal account. I currently have a LibertyReserve account though.

  3. Yes Joseph, thanks for the comment. I said as much too. A good VPN helps change your IP address only but you still have to use a non-Nigerian bank and card to verify your Paypal account. No VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection can do that for you.

  4. It supprise me that up till people are still finding it difficult to open and verify paypal account in nigeria. My friends, the real and ligit way of dealling with paypal has been discover and people are being using it since 5 month ago. You can now operate paypal from nigeria confidentely..all what you need is to have a particular type of phone,ie you can only phone to open the paypal account.that particular phone give you access as a USA OR UK resident..

  5. Thank You Mr Ginger for your sincere information; God bless you. I have already started spending some cash in the process of opening a PayPal account but with this knowledge i think i will have to slow down. Nevertheless, i really need this account for the transfer of my fund which only demanded a PayPal account details for the transfer. The issue is that i don’t know if they will accept my friend’s PayPal account details in UK because i think she may not want to pass through the stress of opening the account and operating it there for me? Please i need your advise, Thanks.

    1. Mary, it depends on your friend although for her there will be other considerations such as tax and the safety of her bank details which has to be provided to open a Paypal account. Talk to her. Good luck!

  6. I dont understand somethings here..
    I have a home in the UK but i’m currently based in Nigeria. How can i Use my NIGERIAN GTB account on paypal? Is it a must for me to use my UK bank account?

    1. Hi, I’m afraid you cannot use your Nigerian GTB account on paypal, for the simple reason that it is based in Nigeria AND because it is domiciled in a country different than your UK home address.

  7. I dont think Nigeria is that bad as the people outside see it. There still exist ones who do very honest transactions.

    I just see this case as a person who is afraid of traveling in the car, eventually you will still travel by car because you still have to move.

    For those afraid of doing business in Nigeria, for info. there are more rules and securities applied to every move for involvement in financial businesses now, than what is obtainable outside 9ja, and many 9jas are adjusting.

    And Nigeria is heavily going cashless very fast. There are more to gain than to lose in business, Paypal should have a rethink about Nigeria, and work with authorities in Nigeria with modalities how to transact safe business. Many offshore companies are gaining more in today’s Nigeria.

    1. You are right Kenny, the world is learning fast that Nigeria cannot be ignored. That is 160 million potential buyers! That is why the wise ones are flocking here for business. Besides,the financial crises in Europe is helping to break down the walls of fear and prejudice. Don’t you worry, it’s only a matter of time…

  8. we are all saying almost the same thing, we that does not have family or friends residing outside the country what do we do. Even when we are operating true business online and demand pay from such transaction.

  9. aren’t there more fraudsters in the United states and China?

    there so much more as to compare to that in Nigeria, then why is China and the U.S included by paypal?

    the Nigeria internet security has been turfing and the system has improved to a reasonable percentage, then what else does paypal want?

    on a second thought why is Cuba, India with all there known hackers includes by paypal? one will begin to think there more to this than just being afraid of fraud.

    If this so call internet giants hate Nigeria that much why do EBAY, GOOGLE, CLICKBANK, MICROSOFT ETC often come to advertise in Nigeria?

    I think paypal feels no other competitor can every beat them.. but i promise them one they will run begging Nigeria’s to register but for the main time all Nigeria’s should try to ignore them and the Nigeria Government should look into this and stop all EBAY AND PAYPAL adverts in Nigeria.

  10. I think most guys here are right. The only intch is that we can not pertronise merchants having paypal as their payment mode. But anyways, if they want to do business with Nigerians, they should make other payment methods which accepts Nigerians

  11. My felow nigerians we can help promote other online transaction agents like LIBERTY RESERVE and mail to several companies what we use in 9ja. I hope by now we should 4get about that so called paypal.

  12. Trash. You live in Nigeria, you use an account and address in Ghana for your online transactions. RUBBISH!
    Lets Boycott paypal in Nigeria

  13. hello everyone.i strongly believe that if you are genuine you will create and use paypal in Nigeria but recently they have stopped accepting credit cards from Nigeria so you have to know someone outside the country to be using the person's credit card.

  14. It is a serious problem for pay pal not to list Nigeria on its countries list.Now I want to pay for membership due of my association but it is through pay pal,What can I do? May be we form a stout force and lodge a complain to the authority in charge at Pay pal.With that,I think we will make positive progress rather than complaining all the time.

  15. Thank you so much for setting up this blog!!! I love it. Please keep it up. Esp love your piece on shopping on Amazon

  16. Hi please what i want to say is that what if i do not have a relative outside Nigeria,
    Then how do i Sign up, Cos i nee it and its not giving me what i want

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