Recently, I decided to start a small side online project, targeted at the Nigerian market. As I needed experienced professionals on the project, I took advantage of the 21st century invention called the internet and decided not to restrict my search to people near me, but going online to find the best suited candidates for the job, wherever they may be in the world.
It wasn’t long before the job was done, and I needed to work out how to pay various professionals across various countries. While I realise that several platforms offered a solution to this “payment problem”, I had key criteria which the perfect solution would have to fulfill:
- Some of these jobs were “one-off jobs”; so I needed a quick online transfer option.
- I didn’t want to reveal personal details (and the freelancers/professionals probably didn’t, either). So I wanted a platform that offered security to personal banking details. This effectively eliminated the options of Western Union and Bank Wire Transfer.
- Both the professionals/freelancers and I wanted an easy transfer, and quick access to the funds.
- Reasonable transfer charges (I’m no Dangote)
- A popular, reliable, internationally reputable medium
Based on the criteria above, options were narrowed to PayPal, Payoneer and a select few. On further research, I discovered that the PayPal service in Nigeria were limited, even though the limitations had been partially lifted in 2014. Paypal allows Nigerians in Nigeria only to send money and make online payments, not to receive money – this defeated the purpose for any freelancers working from Nigeria.
The clear winner was Payoneer, as I found that this was the most convenient option.
Payoneer is a popular, safe, secure online payment platform, offering (hear me now) full access to Nigerians. On setting up an account, you can receive and withdraw funds in more than 200 countries, in several currencies. Sign-up is free, plus you can also get US and European virtual bank account numbers for commercial payments. From Nigeria, you can order a prepaid MasterCard upon providing official identification (National ID card, Driver’s License or international passport) for free! You only pay a small charge of $2 when approved funds hit your account and $3.15 for each withdrawal. Ensure you attempt withdrawal only when you have funds in your account, especially from Nigerian banks to avoid your debit card being seized.
How I use Payoneer to receive payments in Nigeria
On the other hand, being based in Nigeria should not stop freelance professionals from working remotely and receiving payments in Nigeria. As an active user of the platform, I will guide you on how to register for, and set up your account to do the same:
- Go to Payoneer.com, and click ‘Sign Up’
- You will get a pop up like that shown below. Select “Prepaid Mastercard Card”
- Fill out the form, providing details such as your name and email address
- Provide a form of identification such as your driving license number or passport number
- Your application will be reviewed in 3 – 5 days
- Payoneer does NOT accept private mailboxes as mailing address for the cards but easily identifiable and valid personal residential addresses.
- The name on the ID supplied will be the name on the Payoneer prepaid MasterCard.
- You must be over 18 years for your request to be approved.
Payoneer has a 24/7 active customer support. The support would process your request for the prepaid MasterCard. You would be asked to confirm your request. Upon confirmation, you would be told to expect your card in 28 days depending on your location in Nigeria.
Tip: Provide easily identified addresses for ease of delivery. You could request for expedited shipping services at a cost of $50. The card would arrive within 48 hours via DHL. The card usually comes with instructions on how to activate it.
How To Fund And Withdraw Your Money In Nigeria
After Activating your prepaid MasterCard, you are eligible to withdraw your funds from any ATM in Africa. Payoneer introduced a method for Nigerians to receive funds directly into their local bank accounts in 2015 but apparently the service had some glitches and had to be suspended. Hopefully, in the near future this will be up and running again as it would be the ultimate victory for Nigerians and Africans who carry out legitimate online businesses such as affiliate marketing, freelance services on popular online marketplaces (UpWork, Fiverr, Guru.com, PayPerContent, Freelancer et al.), Google Adsense and even payment from individuals and companies.
A lot of companies are compatible with Payoneer Services. Once you have provided the required services, you can just send your client a payment link through your Payoneer account, and they need to follow this link to fund your account. You can then withdraw funds using and MasterCard compatible ATM.
Easy as that! That was how I advised all my prospective employees to set up accounts and the system has been stress-free. Kindly share your experiences using this service in the comments section.