How to turn your foreign currency earned online into Naira

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Not too long ago, I was ecstatic after landing my first gig on Upwork. You know that feeling when you’ve been hitting at palm kernel for a while, and the outer shell finally cracks – that’s exactly how I felt. I completed the task and the client paid for the service without delay. I realised that I was faced with new palm kernels as I couldn’t transfer my earnings  from Upwork to my Nigerian bank account. I decided to write this post to help anyone who might find himself/herself in a similar situation.

I checked the withdrawal options available and saw Skrill, Payoneer and Bank Transfer. Since the money involved wasn’t much, option three was off the menu. I already had a Skrill account so I worked with it. Afterwards, I exchanged it for Naira through an exchanger I found online. All I had to do was transfer the money to the person’s account and he transferred an agreed Naira equivalent to my account.




When you are working or trading online, there’s always the  challenge of how to move money. For a Konga merchant  who imports his items from China, he has to change his naira to dollar or yuan. An artist who sells his art to foreign buyers will need to a way to use his money in Nigeria. After receiving the money into an e-wallet, it needs to be transferred to a Nigerian naira-denominated bank account.

This is what we’ll be examining today.

There are a good number of currency wallets currently available. I’ll list a few of them below:

  • PayPal: PayPal is an American company that makes it possible to receive/send money through email addresses. The Nigerian PayPal account is restricted from receiving funds. It can only pay for goods and services.
  • Skrill: Formerly called Moneybookers, Skrill is a virtual wallet where you can store your funds. Opening an account is easy and is possible in a few minutes
  • Payoneer: A plus with Payoneer is that you can apply for an ATM card in Nigeria. When you open a Payoneer account, they send you a Payoneer MasterCard, which you can use at any ATM and for online shopping.

Other currency wallets are:

  • Perfect Money
  • WebMoney
  • Neteller
  • Payza
  • Ok Pay

I find that I like to manage my earnings myself and of all the options above, Payoneer is hands-down the best option for me. All my online earnings are sent to a Mastercard which I have in my hands and in the event of an emergency, I can walk to an ATM and use it. Furthermore, Payoneer exempts me from the $100 restriction placed by Nigerian banks, as I can spend as much as I can (as long as I earned it). The simple, straightforward process of signing up has been covered in another post.




If you would rather use a wallet and shop around for the best rates each time you want to transfer money, then read on. For today, I will be profiling nine services that help you do this.

  1. Naira4dollar

Naira4dollar has been around for a while. According to the website, the service has existed since 2006. They currently have seven offices across Lagos and Ibadan. They exchange PayPal, Perfect Money, Web Money and Bitcoin.

  1. eTradeXchange

eTradeXchange does exchanges for Perfect Money, Bitcoin, WebMoney, OK Pay, Payza, Skrill, Neteller and PayPal. eTradeXchange does not accept payments through ATM transfer and all forms of Mobile Money Payment. The minimum amount you can exchange is $10.

  1. Nigeriagoldexchange

In addition to currency exchanges, Nigeria Gold Exchange offers selling of virtual credit/debit cards and Pay4me services. They have a physical office in Port Harcourt. Here is an information on how to sell your foreign currencies on their website.  They offer exchanges for: Perfect Money, WebMoney, Payza, SolidTrust Pay, PayPal, and Skrill.

  1. 365exchanger

365exchange promises to process transactions within two hours or less. They offer Perfect Money, Bitcoin, and Payoneer exchanges.

  1. TopUpGold

TopUpGold has an office in Calabar. They offer Payoneer, PayPal, Skrill, Perfect Money, Bitcoin, and Neteller.

  1. ijamexchange

Ijamexchange has been in the currency exchange field for over eight years. They cover virtually all the e-wallets highlighted so far such as Perfect Money, WebMoney, Bitcoin, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Ok Pay, SolidTrust Pay, Payoneer and Payza. Their office is at Ikorodu, Lagos.

  1. Naira2usd

Naira2usd doesn’t display its rates directly on the website. To see the current rates, you’ll have to fill the simple form stating if you want to buy/sell currencies. Even with filling this form, they don’t display rates for PayPal, Skrill and Neteller. You’ll have to contact them on WhatsApp for those.

Naira2usd has an office in Onitsha, Anambra state.

  1. Nairaland

Nairaland has a thread dedicated to currency exchanges of all kinds. It’s a bit rowdy like a conventional marketplace but you can get good deals. Competition between exchangers helps keep prices in check. The major issue here is scammers preying on the openness of the market.

The forum’s anonymity provides a good cover for scammers who are steadily on the prowl. Some concerned members came up with a list of scammers and their contact details. Also available is a free escrow service where certain reputable members act as escrow between two transacting parties. It’s advisable to do your diligence on any exchanger (e.g. searching their phone number in the Nairaland search bar, going through their old posts) and using escrow.

  1. Doyen Exchange

Doyen exchange offers exchanges for the following: Bitcoin, Neteller, OK Pay, PayPal, Payza, Perfect Money, WebMoney, Skrill and SolidTrust Pay,

Putting everything in one sheet

Here is a spreadsheet showing all the profiled exchangers and what e-currency platforms they support

Exchanger/wallet Minimum order Bitcoin Neteller OK Pay Payoneer PayPal
Naira4dollar Yes No No No No
eTradeXchange $10 Yes Yes Yes No Yes
NigeriaGoldExchange Yes No No No No
365exchanger Yes No No Yes Yes
TopUpGold Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Ijamexchange Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Naira2usd Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Nairaland Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
DoyenExchange $10 Yes Yes Yes No Yes

 

Exchanger/wallet Payza Perfect Money WebMoney Skrill SolidTrust Pay
Naira4dollar No Yes Yes No No
eTradeXchange Yes Yes Yes Yes No
NigeriaGoldExchange Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
365exchanger No Yes No No No
TopUpGold No Yes No Yes No
Ijamexchange Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Naira2usd Yes Yes No Yes No
Nairaland Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
DoyenExchange Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

 

The dynamics of exchange rates makes it near-impossible to include them in the above spreadsheet. Always confirm the rates offered by the exchanger before transacting.




Tips for avoiding scammers

One trend I noticed on some of the profiled websites is warning about about scammers. It is no news that scammers have piggybacked off exchange services to defraud people. It is important to make sure you are trading with the right person when doing anything online. Here are a few tips for avoiding scammers online.

  1. Do not be quick to send money first to any exchanger
  2. Always do your due diligence on any exchanger. Check their website, confirm if the number texting you is included on their website, check their social media handles, visit their office etc.
  3. Consider going to their physical office
  4. Be careful if you are asked to show up at strange locations.
  5. Double/triple confirm the bank details you are paying to. Is it on the website?
  6. Keep your bank teller after payment.

Please note that this is not an endorsement of any of the listed services. Tread with caution when doing any transaction.

Do you have a correction to make or an exchanger service to suggest? Do share with me in the comments section.


Comments

  • I have done business with 365exchanger on different occasions and they are legit. They fund very fast.

    Micheal May 17, 2017 9:06 am
    • Thanks, Michael. I will consider adding them to the roll call.

      Ethan Okoli May 19, 2017 5:43 am
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  • Good day i want to use this medium to tell everyone that i am a living testimony, i have never believed anything in the google or Facebook because there are so much scammers and as i was browsing through the internet early these year i saw a testimony of a woman that she got her loan from one Mrs Joy Scott Gregory and a month later i also saw a Man testifying of this same woman Mrs Joy Scott Gregory so i decided that this time let me give it a try, because i was also interested. Which i contacted her through her email i saw on the testifier testimony and i did all she ask of me and today am happy and grateful and never you under estimate my words because you think that scammers are on internet commenting on pupils wall, i urge anybody who is reading my testimony that if you are in need just apply now and be happy. I once doubting all this but today is a reality and for you to be the next testifier contact her now on her email address; joyloanlender56@gmail.com

    ayoola June 12, 2017 7:46 pm
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    conado June 14, 2017 5:43 pm
  • Dear Applicant
    Getting a legitimate loan have always been a big problem for customers experiencing financial problems. Issue of credit and collateral are something that clients are always interested in finding a loan from a legitimate lender. But private credit services made ??a difference in the lending industry. Sanchez gray Loan firm, offer loans at 3% and is transferred to local and international clients. We had the privilege to meet their financial needs. * Loans to investors * Debt Consolidation * Second Mortgage * Business Loans * Personal Loans * International Loan * Social security and no credit check is a 100% guarantee. All you have to do is let us know what you want and will surely make your dream come true true. * Contact E = mail: E-mail:conadofinconsults@hotmail.com OR CALL +2349067084172
    Honestly, I’m waiting for your answer. Best Regards

    Do you need a need? Personal Loans? Business Loans? Mortgage loans?
    Agricultural and project funding?
    We give out loans at 3% interest rate! Contact email
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    Conado July 4, 2017 7:49 pm
  • I tried Opening a Payoneer account, and it’s not accepting my National ID number. Please help me out, Thanks.

    Ebenezer August 21, 2017 7:55 pm
  • I have helping hands e wallet cash for sale and none of the options above have been of any help.pls what do I do to exchange it with any of those sites listed above

    Olusegun Gbenga August 27, 2017 9:50 am
    • Hi Olusegun,

      Helping Hands is not an internationally recognised fund or exchanger so exchangers would not want to take a risk with it. You are better off exchanging it within the Helping Hands network.

      Ethan August 28, 2017 8:03 pm
  • Please I have 84$ of SKRILL to sell to credible buyers @350/$. How can I get serious buyers? Can you link me up with verified buyers? But I can’t send first. That’s a big problem

    Olorunfemi September 25, 2017 1:28 am
  • Hello,
    I have a Payoneer account which I have linked to my Truelancer account. On Truelancer, I work as a freelancer and receive payments for projects completed. I do not have a payoneer card but have linked my account for bank transfer when i acquire a certain amount of USD. Customer care have told me that this transaction will be done in USD but I am still not clear on how it works. Anybody done this before?

    Freelance writer October 19, 2017 11:16 am
    • Hi there,

      I think you need a domicillary account which can accept payments in USD if the payouts are only made in USD. Then enter the details of this domicillary account (International Bank Account number, Sort code etc)

      Alternatively, you can sell you funds in Payoneer directly – someone gives you local currency and you transfer the funds to their Payoneer.

      Hope this answers the question.

      Ethan November 7, 2017 3:13 pm
  • My Skrill account is in GBP. Are there any exchangers willing to do GBP exchange?

    Isidore November 7, 2017 8:50 am
    • Hi Isidore, you won’t know if you don’t ask. Check with the ones listed and also join a Facebook group called Silicon Africa. it is a Tech group, but members tend to pay for services in hard currency and are often looking for funds. Hope this helps.

      Ethan November 7, 2017 2:19 pm
  • I’m posting this follow up comment because hopefully, it will help some other person. Worrying about how payoneer was going to transfer my money into my Nigerian bank account was a source of constant headache for me for months, and no site/person was able to truly explain how the transfer would be made. Someone replied to my previous comment saying I might need a domicillary account but I can clarify that that isn’t necessarily true. All I did was create a payoneer account, link my diamond bank account with my details and swift code, and I was able to withdraw as long as I had a minimum fifty dollars in my payoneer account. In fact, the transfer to my account was automatic as soon as the 50$ minimum was reached. Payoneer charged a fee of 25$ for the wiring, I was told by the customer care that every yransationbwoukd cost 15$ fee regardless how much. The money got into my account within 36 hours, converted into naira by my diamond bank. There as NO special protocol, NO payoneer card involved, NO domiciliary account, just me and my internet. Payoneer really provides good service, I am a student and do not make that much freelancing as it is part time, and also am not looking to get a payoneer card or whatever. I hope this explains to others how the payoneer withdrawal service works because I wish I had seen something like this in the weeks I spent stressing.

    Freelance writer November 8, 2017 2:28 pm
    • Thank you for this information! This will definitely help someone – I guess the only caveat here is that they charge a hefty fee to provide such an efficient service! Thank you very much for this. By the way, would you be interested in joining our writing team to earn more $?

      Ethan November 8, 2017 3:36 pm
  • Hello,Ethan. I will correct my mistake, the wiring fees are 15$, not $25. I was literally walking as I typed that, hence the many errors. In answer to your offer of joining your writing team, yes, I would love that.

    Freelance writer November 8, 2017 4:49 pm
    • No problems – I will send you an e-mail

      Ethan November 9, 2017 6:50 am

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