A while ago, we investigated the cost of sending £300 to Nigeria from the UK here
Since exchange rates have changed dramatically since this article, we thought it might be prudent to provide a more up-to-date look at the situation, and also compare a wider pool of agents.
In this article, I will be reviewing five online transfer agents that can be used when sending money from UK to Nigeria. Please note that rates were valid as at 6am on Monday 6th June and are subject to change.
I was able to get the information on profiled agents through their website. Like in the previous version of this review, agents were assessed based on exchange rates, transfer fees and transfer time. Let’s see how they fared.
Still a household name after over a century, Western Union is the most ‘physically present’ among agents in this review. A walk into your local banking hall and you might stumble on a Western Union point inside. Finding a Western Union agent closest to you is as simple as clicking here.
To get an estimate on fees for sending money online you can use this link. Cash collection at the recipients end comes at a higher cost, so it is usually a better idea to send to your recipients bank account to save money, unless the recipient has an urgent need for cash.
Walk into any Western Union agent and request for a transfer form. Fill in all necessary information, provided identification (if needed) and pay.
For online transfers, you’ll fill out an online form before making any payments. Payments can be made through Visa and MasterCard debit cards.
Transfer rate: £1 to N450.75
Recipient receives: N135,226
Pros: Money in minutes
Cons: Low transfer rates
MoneyLineUK still maintains its simple and to-the-point website displaying all needed information. Only bank transfers is available with MoneyLineUK, no cash pick up. Transfer is to all Nigerian bank accounts. Note that transfers higher than £600 will require you to show a proof of identification and address (utility bills).
First step is to contact MoneyLineUK via phone or email to get current exchange rate, their bank account details and calculate how much you want to send. The fee calculator can also be used to compute this. At least it gives an idea of what the current exchange is. In any case, an email or phone call will still be needed to get account details.
After getting account details, you transfer amount (fees inclusive) electronically or pay cash at the nearest agent.
The next step is to provide the following details via phone call or email;
- your name and address
- name and bank details of beneficiary
- total amount paid into account
- destination country.
Transfer rate: £1 to N494
Recipient receives: N141,142
Transfer time: Same working day
Pros: Good rates.
Cons: It isn’t seamless – lots of effort involved in making calls, transferring the funds and then calling again to check receipt etc.
Small World Global Link
I typed in the old Global Link website and was re-directed to their new and improved page. All information was provided on the go and navigation was pretty smooth.
Money can now be transferred to any bank account in Nigeria. However, transfers for cash pickup is through designated banks. Cash pickup locations are mainly WEMA bank branches across the country. A full list of available locations is provided at the bottom of the webpage.
The website also provides a tracking tool to track transfer status.
Register on the website, choose/create beneficiary and pay online or by bank transfer.
Pros: You have an account area where you can save details of regular payees.
Cons: Online transfers are usually completed in minutes but could take up to hours before it is received by beneficiary.
Transfer rate: £1 to N490
Recipient receives: N140,140
Transfer time: Within two hours
Beautifully designed trendy website with clear information of service rendered. World remit allows transfer payments through credit cards, debit cards and bank transfers. Process of transferring money can be started on the left hand side of the Nigerian webpage.
Visit the website, choose Nigeria as destination country and select Bank Transfer. After this you input amount to be transferred and the calculator gives you total amount to be paid.
World remit also has a mobile app for ease of tracking applications and sending money.
Transfer rate: £1 to N463.11
Recipient receives: N138,934
Transfer time: Within one working day
Pros: Mobile app, option to send airtime
Cons: Low rates.
Azimo’s colourful, sleek websites promises a zero transfer fee when you send money with them. The send-to-Nigeria webpage has an easily accessible fee calculator on the right hand side, with a promise to complete transfers to bank accounts within two hours. I also noticed that they transfer to all the main Nigerian banks. Azimo also has a mobile app for on-the-go sending of money.
You can choose to use the fee calculator first before being led to the sign up page. After signing up, send process is similar with the rest. Choose how you want money to be sent, input beneficiary details and confirm payment.
Transfer rate: £1 to N470.4
Recipient receives: N141,120
Transfer time: Within two hours
Pros: No fees
Cons: Can’t think of any to be honest
Perhaps due to the recent dynamics in Nigeria’s economy, transfer rates tend to vary more often. For example, MoneyLineUK offered a transfer rate of £1 to N464 the first day I checked. About two days later, it had risen to N470. There is also a wide gap between rates offered by agents and the official CBN rate. Be sure to confirm transfer rates on the day before sending money.
Seeing agents promise to deliver within hours to a working day, transfer time is not much of an issue. Going by beneficiary payouts, Azimo and MoneyLineUK pay the highest – Azimo being due to the absence of fees.
Azimo’s zero transfer fee is eye-catching. On closer look however, MoneyLineUK’s transfer rate of £1 to N494 slightly edges Azimo even after removing the £15 transfer fee. Perhaps they are offering customer cash back from the web design in transfer rates – whatever the case, it works for me.
For emergencies, Western Union’s “money in minutes” trumps the others. On the other hand, they do offer the lowest transfer rate at £1 to N450. In conclusion, if you’re looking to transfer money to a Nigerian bank account and getting a good deal, then MoneyLineUK is the way to go. For cash pickups that do not involve emergencies, Small World’s Global Link is your best bet.
Have questions? Comments? We’d love to hear from you