A couple of years back, there was no single country on the African continent where one could send/receive money online through PayPal. Not one. At that point there was just one which was South Africa. Later one, a few countries were included, as most were later added to the journey. Indeed, even now, all the African countries can ONLY send money through PayPal – they can’t receive money online through PayPal. This is still an imaginable story in the greatest African economy called Nigeria
Below is a response from PayPal on these issues regarding why PayPal features are limited in African countries and the answers below are received:
“PayPal is constantly working to expand and improve our services for our customers. We hope to be expanding our availability to include more countries, however, due to the complexities of global expansion, we cannot give a timetable for this”.
Lately, PayPal declared that some more countries can now withdraw their PayPal fund to a Visa or MasterCard, credits or prepaid card. Still, no African country is among the 26 that have been listed on EBay, PayPal website and the feature’s availability in African countries is lacking the full functionality of PayPal.
It is in reality fascinating to take note that PayPal is not available to people of Nigeria, which is Africa’s second biggest economy after South Africa. Also, the most populous country in Africa. The potential could be there for sure, but many banks in Nigeria now issue universal MasterCard Visas and local debit cards that can be widely used at any ATM in Nigeria, as well as online and at Point-Of-Sale (POS) terminals.
I have compiled the reasons below which I think it might be why people of some African countries can’t use the full features of PayPal while others like Nigeria have limitation for the PayPal usage:
1. Banking System. The banking system in some African countries, unlike Nigeria are not entirely well-designed (to receive/send electronic transactions). So, it is hard to transact online while you have no steady electricity or stable internet connections.
However, many countries is fast in development and trying to solve the problem – countries like South Africa and Egypt have gone far and embraced the obstacles in dealing with online payments and transactions. Their banking systems have improved and people with the right credit and master cards can easily buy goods and services online.
2. Governments policy about the deluge or rather out flux of foreign currency like Euro, British Pounds sterling and the US Dollar. The fear of the financial concept “Capital Flight” has made many African governments keep up a strict control on the surge of foreign countries in their separate nations.
For example, recently the current president of Nigeria, Mohammed Buhari restricted the deposit/receiving of U.S dollar in Nigeria. You can only receive dollar in Nigeria if you have a domiciliary account.
3. Irregular state of potential Online Fraud: This would relate more to Nigeria, Egypt, and Ghana. The occurrence of fraud reported from these countries are high compared to other countries like South Africa that can easily use PayPal, and other online businesses are looking at this to be a high risk of doing business in these countries.
In addition, Online-screening databases have marked these countries as red- flag. Even though, you have legitimate companies who are in this way adversely affected. Not many online merchants or eBay sellers would ship to these countries.
So what do you think and how do you think Nigeria in particular can be able to solve this problem?