Does Zelle Work in Nigeria in 2024?

Does Zelle work in Nigeria? Well, the answer is a bit complicated. Zelle is closely tied to Chase Bank in the United States. About a year and a half ago, some Nigerian banks went through audits and did not meet certain global banking standards. Because of this, Chase Bank decided to take all Nigerian banks off their approved list. So, unfortunately, Zelle isn’t available for use with Nigerian banks at the moment.

Does Zelle work in Nigeria?

Zelle isn’t available in Nigeria; it’s a service only for the United States. So, if you’re in Nigeria, you can’t sign up for Zelle because you need a US phone number and bank account. Also, if you look at the Zelle network banks, you will not find any Nigerian banks listed there.

But if you really need to use Zelle while in Nigeria, there’s a way. You can ask someone you know in the US to create a Zelle account for you. They’ll use their own US phone number and bank details to set it up, and then give you the login info.

This method is a bit complicated but it’s the only option if you must use Zelle in Nigeria. It’s mostly useful if you usually live in the US but are in Nigeria for a short visit. Your Zelle account will work fine in that case.

Don’t try to use Zelle with a VPN or proxy. It’s risky and not just about location. You also need a US phone and bank account. If your connection fails, you could lose your account.

Alternative Ways to Send Money in Nigeria

1. Payoneer

Zelle may not work in Nigeria, but Payoneer offers a great alternative for receiving international payments. Payoneer is a global financial service platform used by freelancers and small businesses to receive payments in various international currencies.

You can link it with Nigerian banks like Kuda Bank or traditional banks like First Bank Nigeria, UBA, GT Bank, Access Bank, and Zenith Bank to withdraw your funds in Naira.

Steps to Create and Link a Payoneer Account

  1. Visit the Payoneer website and sign up using your email address, government-issued ID, phone number for verification, and proof of address.
  2. During the sign-up process, you’ll be asked to link a bank account. Make sure the account is in your name.
  3. Complete the verification process, which usually involves confirming your email and possibly submitting additional documents.

How to Use Payoneer with Kuda Bank

  1. Kuda Bank is a digital-only bank in Nigeria and an official partner of Payoneer.
  2. Log in to the Kuda Bank app and link it to your Payoneer account.
  3. Specify the amount in foreign currency you want to withdraw from Payoneer. Click Withdraw to convert the funds to Naira (NGN) in your Kuda account.
  4. Use Kuda Bank’s debit card at local merchants or ATMs to spend the Naira you’ve withdrawn.

How to Use Payoneer with Traditional Nigerian Banks

  1. Access your Payoneer account and go to the withdrawal section.
  2. Input your Nigerian bank account details.
  3. Select which balance (USD, JPY, EUR, etc.) you want to withdraw and specify the amount.
  4. Send the withdrawal and check to confirm that your local bank has received the funds.

Fees

  • Payoneer charges a 2% transaction fee for converting any currency to Naira.
  • Traditional Nigerian banks may have additional fees and may take longer to process the transaction compared to Kuda Bank.

2. Western Union

Western Union also offers services such as receiving money, tracking transfers, and their global presence.

1. Create an Account

  1. Visit the Western Union website.
  2. Click on the “Sign Up” button.
  3. Fill in your personal details like name, email, and password.
  4. Verify your email address by clicking on the link sent to your email.

2. Link Your Bank Account

  1. Log in to your Western Union account.
  2. Go to the “Account Settings” or “Payment Methods.”
  3. Click on “Add a Bank Account.”
  4. Enter your bank details and follow the prompts to link your account.

3. Send Money

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Choose the “Send Money” option.
  3. Enter the recipient’s details, including their name and bank account information.
  4. Select the amount you want to send.
  5. Review the transaction and click “Send.”

4. Track Your Transfer

  1. After sending money, you’ll get a tracking number.
  2. You can use this number to track the status of your transfer on the Western Union website.

5. Receive Money

  1. If you’re on the receiving end, you’ll get a notification when the money arrives.
  2. You can then withdraw it from your bank account or pick it up from a Western Union agent location.

And that’s it! You’ve successfully used Western Union as an alternative to Zelle in Nigeria.

3. Use MoneyGram in Nigeria as a Zelle Alternative

The MoneyGram website offers various services for sending and receiving money in Nigeria. Here’s a guide on how to use MoneyGram as an alternative to Zelle:

Steps to Create an Account

  1. Go to MoneyGram’s Nigerian website.
  2. Look for the sign-up option and fill in your details to create an account.

Link Your Bank Account

  1. Once your account is created, log in to your MoneyGram account.
  2. Navigate to the settings or account section.
  3. Follow the prompts to link your Nigerian bank account to your MoneyGram account.

Send Money

  1. After logging in, select the Send Money option.
  2. Fill in the recipient’s information and the amount you wish to send.
  3. Choose your linked bank account as the payment method.
  4. Review all the details and click ‘Send’ to complete the transaction.

Receive Money

  1. You’ll get a notification when someone sends you money.
  2. Money can be received either through cash pickup or directly to your linked bank account.

Receivers in Nigeria can now only receive in USD. Also, MoneyGram cash payouts in Nigeria are also only available in US dollars.

4. Remitly in Nigeria as a Zelle Alternative

Since Zelle does not work in Nigeria, consider Remitly as an alternative. Here’s how you can set up and use a Remitly account in Nigeria:

1. Create a Remitly Account

  1. Visit the Remitly website.
  2. Click on “Sign Up” usually located at the top-right corner.
  3. Fill in your personal details like name, email, and create a password.
  4. Verify your email address by clicking on the link sent to your email.

2. Link Your Bank Account

  1. Log in to your Remitly account.
  2. Navigate to the Account Settings” or similar section.
  3. Look for an option to link a bank account and click on it.
  4. Enter your bank details and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the linking process.

3. Send Money

  1. Once your bank account is linked, go to the Send Money section.
  2. Choose the country you want to send money to and enter the recipient’s details.
  3. Select the amount you wish to send and the payment method.
  4. Review the transaction details and click Send to complete the process.

4. Receive Money

  1. The recipient will get a notification once the money is sent.
  2. They can then access the funds through their own bank account or a designated pick-up location, depending on the options provided by Remitly.

Remitly usually provides a tracking feature where you can monitor the status of your transaction until it’s completed.

5. Use Small World Money Transfer in Nigeria

If you’re in Nigeria and can’t use Zelle, Small World Money Transfer is an alternative. Here’s how to use it:

1. Create a New Beneficiary

If you have sent Naira to Nigeria before using Small World, you’ll need to create a new beneficiary. This is because transfers to Nigeria are now only paid out in US Dollars.

2. Add Beneficiary’s USD Bank Account

Ask your beneficiary for their new USD bank account details. If they don’t have one, Nigerian banks can help them open a USD domiciliary account.

3. Set Up the Transfer

Decide how much money you want to send. You can send it for cash collection or bank deposit. If you choose bank deposit, make sure the recipient has a USD domiciliary account.

4. Choose Payment Method

You can pay using a bank transfer or a debit/credit card if you’re sending money online. If you’re using a Small World branch or agent, you can pay in cash.

5. Complete the Transfer

Once you’ve made the payment, Small World will notify you when the money is received, usually within minutes.

Things to Know

  • The maximum amount for a pick-up is 1,000 USD per transaction.
  • You can receive up to 10,000 USD in your USD bank account.
  • If you make a mistake and send money to an NGN account instead of a USD account, the transaction will be returned, and Small World will contact you.

I could have suggested PayPal in this list but PayPal does not send money in Nigeria. So, unless you only need a payment method to receive payment, PayPal is not a great option.

Conclusion

So, does Zelle work in Nigeria? The short answer is no, Zelle is not available for use with Nigerian banks. It’s a service for the United States that requires a U.S. phone number and bank account. While there is a workaround like having someone in the U.S. set up an account for you, this method can be complicated and not recommended for long-term use.

However, the good news is that there are several reliable alternatives to Zelle in Nigeria. From Small World Money Transfer to Payoneer, Western Union, MoneyGram, and Remitly, you have various options to send and receive money internationally.

Read alsoHighest Paying Banks in Nigeria

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