How To Open a PayPal Account in Nigeria and What You Can Do With It

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PayPal is a service that allows one to make payment online without sharing one’s card detail each time one is making a payment. The benefit of owning a PayPal account goes beyond being able to make secure payments online—one can also receive/send money from/to other PayPal accounts.

All that’s required for a PayPal account to be opened is a functional email address. Once the email address has been used to open the PayPal account, the next thing will be to verify the account in order to start using it.

PayPal has been closed to Nigerians for a while until now. While they have only enabled the option of making payments using PayPal for accounts opened in Nigeria, a personnel at PayPal mentioned to me that the other features are coming depending on how Nigerians respond.

How do you open a PayPal account?

To get a PayPal account, visit and sign up using an email address. Once your email has been verified and you set up your own password, the next thing will be to add a credit/debit card where money can be drawn from.

The first thing that got me confused when I opened my account was, I wondered how I can make payment with my PayPal account when my PayPal balance is reading 0.00. While I can’t yet fund my PayPal account directly from my bank account to affect my PayPal balance, PayPal can draw money from the card I tied to it. How does this work?

Let’s say I want to buy an item on eBay and I chose to pay using PayPal. I will be required to input my email address and password. Once that is done, PayPal charges my card. From the look of things, PayPal draws the money from my bank account (card is tied to my bank account) and pays it to the merchant (on eBay). If I had a balance on my PayPal account, there won’t be any need for PayPal to draw the money from my card. I can’t receive money directly to my PayPal account just yet, so, that option is closed to Nigerians for now.

What this means is that a 0.00 PayPal balance won’t stop you from making a purchase using your PayPal account from websites that receive PayPal as long as long as you have verified your account by connecting a valid credit/debit card.

The First Bank of Nigeria Advantage

It is worthy to note that, in Nigeria, PayPal has struck a partnership deal with First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) that allows interested FBN account holder the ability to open a PayPal account and be instantly verified.

Question: Does it mean that FBN customers without a card (credit/debit) can still use PayPal in Nigeria? “No.”

Is it that my FBN account is automatically tied to my PayPal account? “FBN customers still need to have a card to link to their PayPal account.”

Verve Card issued in Nigeria is not accepted internationally. You won’t be able to tie your Verve Card to your PayPal account. The Visa and MasterCard issued in Nigeria will however work. The card that I tied with my PayPal account is the one that is issued by Guarantee Trust Bank PLC—GTBank.

In the future, once PayPal starts allowing businesses to integrate PayPal, and a website like Konga/Jumia integrates it, you’ll be able to shop securely on those sites using your PayPal account without revealing your card details to those online stores. You do not pay any charge using PayPal—only the merchants are charged.

Question: how does PayPal make its money? As a user I’m not charged, right? Then who is charged?

“PayPal never charges customers for their purchases. PayPal charges merchant fees from the merchant or the person who receives the money. It is possible to send money to PayPal accounts outside of Nigeria (in countries where PayPal accounts can receive funds). In that case, the sender can determine who would pay the fee. It is done within a user’s PayPal account for each transaction.”

What can you do with your PayPal account once you open it?

If you open a PayPal account in Nigeria today, please note that the only things you can do is to buy from online stores that have already integrated PayPal—like Uber, eBay and the like and PayPal users outside Nigeria that have already been enabled to receive money. You won’t be able to receive money from another PayPal user just yet. You’d have to wait for a later time when PayPal will roll out that feature to the Nigerian market.

FBN customers get another edge here again. They will be able to move any money from their PayPal balance to their bank account.

Question: if all Nigerian customers can’t receive money into their PayPal account, is the situation different for FBN customers—will they be able to receive money into their PayPal account?

“Unfortunately NG (Nigeria) PayPal accounts cannot receive funds into them yet – that includes FBN customers.”

Nigerian businesses are yet to be invited to the party too—they will have to look on for a while. But, Dobox, a Nigerian online store has already integrated PayPal—they have integrated it long before PayPal set foot into the Nigerian market. I was able to pay for their service with my NG PayPal account.

Dobox is able to do that because they set up their PayPal account outside Nigeria. Another Nigerian company that receive PayPal that I have see is IrokoTV.

There are certain rules about how payment-processing companies in Nigeria should operate. These rules won’t affect PayPal just yet as they’re not banking in Nigeria and don’t receive money in Naira. I am wondering how things will be if a rule by CBN mandates them to do that and if they’ll still be able to store credit card details once they open full operation in Nigeria and started allowing local businesses to receive PayPal as a means of payment online and offline.

I have used PayPal and successfully received one of the items I bought on eBay. I can therefore conform to you that PayPal works.

Have you tried PayPal? What do you think about the experience?



In pursuit of useless knowledge, spotting patterns & connecting the dots at the intersection. | Gadget Freak


  1. does this means if i shop on any online stores.. and the store accepts paypal for payment.. i cud pay and it gets delivered to nigeria through paypal?

  2. Is there any hope of PayPal allowing Nigerian user to receive money through their PayPal account any time soon? I just realized that you can’t receive money through PayPal NG when I tried receiving money through my PayPal account today.

  3. I do not want to say that you Nigerians are very stupid because l am from Nigeria. Can’t you see that pay pal is only taking advantage of the Nigerian people just because a handful of Nigerians may be fraudulent. The American economy is facing a lots of challenge from China and a few other countries that know what they are doing, as a result, their business (American businesses) are seeking expansion into teritories they would normally not step their foot into. What pay pal is saying is that it is okay for money to leave Nigerian bank accounts to foreign lands, but it is not okay for money to leave other country’s bank accounts to Nigeria. And you guys are happy, jumping and dancing that pay pal has agreed to have a foot in Nigeria. I am even surprised l am commenting on such a lousy discussion.

    1. You are the man. PayPal is not welcome in Nigeria until they remove the restriction attached to Nigerian PayPal accounts.
      I cab only use a Nigerian PayPal account when i will be able to receive fund with it otherwise, it is useless.

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  5. Yes! The PayPal is useless except we can accept money with it. But I really need to pay for a service with a PayPal account. Just confused. I blame the Yahoo Yahoo boys! For this restriction, no be PayPa fault

  6. thanks for this write up i really learnt alot from it, pls i will like to know if one can tie his fbn/ gtbank africard to ur paypal account? if so, will u be able to receive and transfer money on ur verified paypal account.thanks.

  7. Even though I am based in Nigeria, I actually contacted Auction Essistance to help me create an account in a different country to bypass the stupid restrictions they put on Nigerian accounts.

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