Remittances: 8 ways to send/receive money from abroad

Godfrey Elimian
Foreign remittance into Nigeria was estimated to hit $20.9 billion by the end of 2022, compared to $19.5 billion in remittances inflow recorded in 2021.
8 ways to facilitate remittances from Abroad to Nigeria
8 ways to facilitate remittances from Abroad to Nigeria

There is no doubt that international migration, commonly known as japa, brings many benefits to individuals who find themselves in a seemingly better clime and developed region of the world.

However, these migrations are even more economically beneficial to the countries of origin due to the large remittances which come back to contribute a large chunk of the nation’s gross national product (GNP).

In Nigeria, for instance, remittances averaged $5.058 billion from 2008 until 2022, reaching an all-time high of $6.270 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 and a record low of $3.373 billion in the second quarter of 2020.

In fact, Nigerians received $10.11 billion as diaspora remittances between January and June 2022, representing a 9.6% increase compared to $9.23 billion received in the corresponding period of 2021.

Foreign remittance into Nigeria was estimated to hit $20.9 billion by the end of 2022, compared to $19.5 billion in remittances inflow recorded in 2021. This represents a 7.5% rise from the prior year of 2021.

Despite these figures, most Nigerians are still unaware of the best ways to send and receive money from their friends and families outside the country’s shores. Many Nigerians face a common challenge: the high fees charged by banks that are mandated only to receive Dollar remittances.

This was due to the directive in 2020 by the Central Bank of Nigeria that international money transfer operators (IMTOs) support transfers to Nigeria in US dollars only, effectively abandoning the naira as a remittance currency. The policy has also limited the number of money transfer specialists and other digital money services that operate in Nigeria.

However, this article will provide you with resources and recommendations on facilitating remittances in Nigeria whether you live in the United States, South Africa, or Canada.

Read also: Chipper Cash receives license to provide money transfer services in Malawi

How do you send/receive money from Abroad?

You can accept foreign payments in Nigeria from other countries with the aid of various financial services. Let’s look at the most typical ways people get dollars in Nigeria because each one has benefits and drawbacks based on the size of your remittance and the country from which you are sending it.

These apps and methods listed can help you send and receive money:

Remittances: 8 ways to send/receive money from abroad
Banks in Nigeria

Domiciliary account via Commercial banks

Apart from the high fees that commercial banks charge on remittances to/from foreign countries, domiciliary accounts are one of the ways to receive foreign currency. Domiciliary accounts are domestic accounts used to receive foreign currencies, usually U.S. dollars, into banks in Nigeria.

This suggests that you can have your money transferred promptly into your domiciliary account and then, within 72 hours of receiving it, go to the bank to withdraw it so you can have your money in cash. Zenith Bank, Access Bank, UBA, First Bank, FCMB, and GTBank are a few of the banks with US (USD) domiciles.

To be able to receive funds into your domiciliary account, the sender must have the following details from your domiciliary account.

  • Account name
  • Account number
  • Name of the bank
  • The Address of the bank
  • Bank’s SWIFT CODE
  • Bank’s Routing Number

Western Union

Western Union is an international money transfer service provider. It has been in active service for over 149 years. Western Union allows you to send and receive money from various countries worldwide.

With a network of over 200 countries worldwide, you can receive various currencies in your Western Union account. This is one of the fast, easy means to facilitate remittances in dollars to Nigeria.

8 ways to facilitate remittances form nigeria and abroad
Western union Transfers

In other to receive funds through Western Union, you must provide the following information:

  • Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) – a unique 10-digit tracking number assigned to your transfer. The MTCN or the tracking number can track your transfer in just a few minutes. You can find the MTCN on your transfer receipt.
  • Sender’s name
  • Receiver’s name
  • Answer to Test Question (if provided)
  • Location {Country} where the money is being sent from
  • Amount to be received
  • Valid ID card (non-expired government-issued ID, International Passport, Voter’s card, National ID card, BVN, Driver’s Licence)

Fluid Finance

Founded by investment banker Robert Sharratt and funded by Norwegian billionaire Alexander Vik, Fluid is one of the fintech companies offering free and instant international money remittances, changing how people send money to their loved ones in or from Africa. 

With an instant international money remittance service with no fees whatsoever, the app assures customers of a free and seamless way to send and receive money from any part of the world at any time.

You only need an email address to open a Fluid account.

Read also: Fluid provides access to USD, EUR, GBP and allows you to send money abroad easily

WorldRemit

World Remit is a UK-based digital remittance service that’s one of the fastest and cheapest platforms to send money internationally. They offer online international money transfer services to its customers and has a network spanning over 150 countries around the world.

The platform offers a variety of pay-in and pay-out options, including cash pick-up, bill payments, or even airtime top-up. WorldRemit transfers are instant; you don’t need to visit the bank to send or receive money from abroad. Also, the beneficiaries are not charged for the transfer.

WorldRemit does not have a minimum transfer limit. However, it has a maximum transfer limit of $2,000 for the first transaction, after which the maximum limit per transaction becomes $7,500. WorldRemit is fast, reliable, affordable, and transparent.

In 2021, it ranked as one of the cheapest providers for remittances from the United States and South Africa to Nigeria.

$end by Flutterwave

$end is a fintech service provider powered by Flutterwave. As the largest payment network in Africa, Flutterwave offers seamless financial transactions between customers within and outside Africa.

$end can easily make instant money remittances to recipients in various countries around the world. This includes transfer options to local bank accounts, Mobile Money wallets, and cash pick-up locations.

You can make payments for your transfers using your debit cards, credit cards, bank transfer, Apple pay or Google pay (Google Pay is only available via the web). Once payment is confirmed, the transaction is processed instantly.

Flutterwave is ISO verified, which means that all its financial transactions are safe and secured.

Lemonade Finance

Lemonade Finance is a financial technology company (No. 935815) registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. The app supports multi-currency account opening, which sends money from anywhere.

The app allows users to open US Dollar, Nigerian Naira, Canadian Dollar, and United Kingdom Pounds accounts in less than 5 minutes. They facilitate remittances internationally to over 20 countries instantly with no fees.

MoneyGram

MoneyGram is a high-performance web-based financial application that allows users to facilitate money remittances from over 200 countries worldwide. The money will be received in a few minutes after initiating a payment request on the platform.

It is the second-largest remittance provider in the world. Moneygram provides money transfers, orders, bill payments, mobile top-ups, and prepaid card reload services to those who may not have a bank account or want to use an alternative service.

MoneyGram’s maximum send amount per customer is $1,000, or the equivalent in Naira, within 90 days. MoneyGram requires a reference number, which you can obtain from the sender, and a “receiving form,” which you must fill out at your bank. Your cash will be released to you once your information has been confirmed.

Depending on the service needed, Moneygram users can complete transactions using cash, a credit card, a debit card, or a bank account. MoneyGram has an $8,000 or equivalent in Naira per person cumulative receive limit per 30 days.

There is a fee attached for processing the transfer.

Grey finance

Grey allows its users to open a virtual global bank account to receive and make foreign payments or convert currencies, enabling customers to exchange currency and perform cross-border transactions hassle-free.

The company’s platform offers users free USD, GBP, and EUR accounts for international transactions. It is a frequently used platform by foreign employers to pay remote workers in various countries, including Nigeria.

To open an account:

  • Register and Sign up online. Registration is done with an email address in the app.
  • Complete KYC verification. Verify your identity using your government-issued ID.
  • Get your virtual account. Share your account details to get paid or spend worldwide with your debit card.

It is important to note that making remittances into your GBP virtual account can take up to 1-3 business days.

Safety tips for online payments and wire transfers

It is easy to fall prey to scammers when sending money to someone in another country. Thankfully, there are a few simple guidelines to stay one step ahead of scammers.

  • Do not disclose your passwords and security pins to anyone.
  • Ensure that the recipient’s details are entered correctly to avoid sending money to the wrong person.
  • Avoid sending money to someone you’ve never met in person. If you have to send money to someone you’ve never met, try to avoid sending large sums at once.
  • Consider paying late. Scammers often say you must transfer by a specific date to take advantage of what they have offered you. If you don’t meet their deadline and they contact you again, saying the deadline has been extended, you may be dealing with scammers.
  • Use a reputable and secure money transfer service. While most of the time, your money transfer provider is not the problem, it’s always wise to choose a service that takes security seriously.


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