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How to send money to Nigeria
Find a fast, easy way to transfer from the US to Nigeria.
Digital money transfer providers can beat the rates offered by your bank. Transferring money online to Nigeria from the US, instead of through your local bank, will save you on fees and give you access to stronger exchange rates and faster turnaround times.
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Compare international money transfers to Nigeria
Use our interactive table to compare transfer fees, exchange rates and other details for sending funds to Nigeria with our money transfer partners.
What's in this guide?
- Compare international money transfers to Nigeria
- How to send money to Nigeria online
- What's the best way to send money to Nigeria?
- How to get the most out of your money transfer
- Nigeria's exchange rates explained
- Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in Nigeria
- What to watch out for
- Bottom line
How to send money to Nigeria online
Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
- Sign up for a free account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and your preferred payment method.
- Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If you’re transferring to a bank, you’ll need your recipient’s Nigerian bank account details.
- Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
- Save your receipt. Record your receipt’s confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Nigeria. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
What’s the best way to send money to Nigeria?
Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Nigeria. Some offer transfers straight to Nigerian bank accounts, while others allow the money to be picked up in Nigerian naira in person. PayPal, banks and other options are available but come with high fees, weak rates and longer turnaround times.
Digital money transfer services
Companies like OFX and CurrencyTransfer specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s Nigerian bank account, often in as little as a day or two.
Services like MoneyGram allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Nigeria — often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees. If a cash pickup is necessary, look to digital services like WorldRemit or XE when possible.
Nigerian naira are almost certainly carried by your bank, especially if you live in the northern half of the US. Although your local bank can convert your US dollars into Nigerian naira, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 to Nigeria
Let’s say you need to send $1,000 to friends or family. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of March 11, 2020.
|Digital money transfer service||Cash transfer||Bank transfer|
|Fee||$0||$3.99||$25 + additional correspondent bank fees|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 365.374 NGN||1 USD = 365.374 NGN||1 USD = 351.284 NGN|
|Transfer speed||1-2 day||Minutes||2-5 days|
|Amount received||NGN 365,374||NGN 363,916||NGN 342,502|
The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient. If you go with the digital money transfer service, your recipient ends up with NGN 22,872 more than the bank offers. If speed is crucial, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to Nigeria in as little as 15 minutes for just a slightly higher fee.
How to get the most out of your money transfer
Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to Nigeria to meet your needs:
- Exchange rates. The USD-NGN relationship fluctuates daily, but typically only changes drastically once every few years. However, locking in an exchange rate now may save you money down the line.
- Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger exchange rate.
- Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the amount of Nigerian naira you’re sending.
- Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to Nigeria.
- Maximum limits. When exchange rates are favorable, sending more money can save you money in the future. If you plan to send large amounts of money to Nigeria, be sure to pick a provider that won’t limit you.
- Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a Nigerian bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow it down to a company that matches your preferred delivery method.
Emergency cash transfer to Nigeria
When it’s more important to get your money to Nigeria quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.
How to send money to Nigeria without a bank account
Cash transfer services can help you if you’re unbanked or marginally banked. If you don’t have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.
Nigeria’s exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. Nigeria’s exchange rate often fluctuates when compared to the US dollar, so expect exchange rates today to be different than those you’ll see tomorrow. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Track how the Nigerian naira trades against the US dollar in our historical rate chart.
Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in Nigeria
To send money to Nigeria from the US, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in Nigeria may be different by company.
Documents to send money from the US
To send money from the US to Nigeria, you’ll need documentation and details that include:
- Identification. Most services require a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID. Some services allow you to send transfers without ID, but they may require your SSN.
- Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal checks.
- Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, Nigerian bank account and routing number if sending to their bank.
Documents to receive money in Nigeria
To pick up money in person, documentation can include:
- Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
- Government-issued ID. A Nigerian Passport or other ID issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) may be required to pick up your transfer in cash.
- Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
- Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.
What to watch out for
Nigerian money transfer scams have been plaguing the money transfer world for many decades, and may be referred to as 419 scams, Nigerian Prince scams or overseas funds transfer scams. Typical signs of this scam include:
- The money needs to be sent urgently.
- The transaction requires confidentiality.
- A US or UK based person acts as a go-between for a foreigner with large amounts of money.
- Money is requested to cover a fee.
- Scammer claims they are being persecuted for religious beliefs and want to give their money away.
- Claims that your distant relative died, but you need to send money to cover fees in order to access their wealth.
If you suspect someone may be contacting you through one of these scams, contact the FBI if you are in the US to alert them of this fraud attempt.
Sending your hard-earned money to Nigeria shouldn’t cost a fortune. Compare transfer companies that specialize in foreign for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.
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