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.