FAQs: Everything you need to know about sending money to Nigeria

15 Jan 2021 - Category: Blog /
Send Money to Nigeria

There have been some recent changes announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria regarding money transfers to Nigeria

Your transfers to Nigeria can now only be paid out in US Dollars in Nigeria, and your beneficiary is then free to change the money into NGN after they have received the USD. 

It’s easy to be confused by these changes. As always, we’re here to help you and have created FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), to explain everything you need to know.

Can I still send money to Nigeria?

Yes, you can still send money to Nigeria to support your loved ones with Small World. The Central Bank of Nigeria has put new rules in place which means that international money transfers are to be paid in US Dollars in Nigeria.

If the order is sent for cash collection (we recommend Anywhere Pickup service to give your recipient the most choices for convenient collection), then the recipient of the transfer has the choice to collect USD $ in cash.

If the order is sent for bank deposit, then the recipient must have a USD domiciliary account in Nigeria to receive the funds. We are working with our Nigerian bank partners to enable a service whereby USD accounts can easily be opened for beneficiaries without existing USD domiciliary accounts.

What’s the “Naira 4 Dollar Scheme” and what does it mean for me?

To encourage the Nigerian diaspora to send US dollars back to Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria has agreed to provide support. For every US dollar you send back, your loved one will receive 5N extra.

For example, if you send 100 US Dollars in a transaction, the person you’re sending money to will receive 500N as added. This will be added even if your receiver decides to take out the money in cash or transfer to a domestic account.

The incentive will be valid for all transfers from Monday 8th of March to 8th of May 2021.

What if I want to receive NGN in Nigeria?

Your beneficiary is permitted to collect the funds in Nigeria in USD and convert them to NGN in any way they please - this might be in the bank in which funds are received, or with another currency exchange provider.

What if I send for cash pickup and the bank does not have the correct notes in USD?

The Nigerian banks are well prepared for this change and there are few reports of any issues of this kind - however it is advisable to send an amount that gives a payout amount in USD that is a round number (e.g. $220, or $250) to avoid the risk of smaller denomination notes not being available. If small notes are not available, the banks are authorised to pay any balance in NGN.

What do I need to do if I have sent Naira to Nigeria with Small World before?

To send money to Nigeria for payout in USD, you will need to:

  1. Create a new beneficiary - if you have sent Naira to them before
  2. Add their new US $ bank account - ask your beneficiary for their new account details
  3. Set up the transfer - Choose how much money you wish to send.
  4. Pay safely - Choose bank transfer or debit/credit card if sending online, or cash if sending in one of our branches or agents.
  5. All done! - We will let you know when it’s received, usually within minutes.

What do I need to send money to Nigeria if I am a new customer?

To send money to Nigeria, you only need to:

  1. Register with Small World - If you don’t already have an account
  2. Create a beneficiary - Add their US Dollar bank account details for bank deposit
  3. Set up the transfer - Choose how much money you wish to send.
  4. Pay safely - Choose to use bank transfer or debit/credit card.
  5. All done! - We will let you know when it’s on its way, usually within minutes.

How does my beneficiary in Nigeria open a new US Dollar account for bank deposit?

If the person you’re sending money to has an existing Naira account with any of our banking partners, our partners will help you and your beneficiary to set up the US $ account. We would not be involved in the exchange of personal details as this is the responsibility between the bank and the beneficiary.

Below are our current active partners, with many more banks coming very soon:

  • Fidelity Bank
  • Wema Bank
  • Polaris Bank
  • Union Bank
  • Ecobank

What happens if I send money to a NGN account, instead of the USD account, by mistake?

If you use a NGN account instead of a USD account your transaction will be returned by the beneficiary’s bank. Small World will get in touch with you, collect correct details for the USD account or refund your money. We advise you always check with your beneficiary for correct details to their USD account to avoid any problems.

Is there any change in the services available for sending money to Nigeria?

Besides the shift to US Dollars, everything is staying the same at Small World. Your options for sending money to Nigeria are:

  1. Bank Deposit - send money directly to a bank account.
  2. Cash Pickup - send money for collection from any branch of the selected banks in Nigeria.
  3. Anywhere Pickup - send money for collection in USD in any branch of any of our bank partners across Nigeria (currently almost 1000 branches).

What is the best way to send money to Nigeria?

This depends on your situation and preference. We’re here to help you with every step of the way. Your options are many, you can start the transfer by visiting a branch, agent, contacting our call centre or online via website and mobile app. Your beneficiary in Nigeria can receive the money via bank deposit, cash-pick up, or anywhere pick-up. 

Is there a maximum amount I can send to Nigeria?

The maximum amount for pick up is 1,000 USD per transaction. And you can receive up to 10,000 USD into your USD bank account.

  • Pick up and Pick up anywhere in USD will be rounded to 1 USD. In other words, the max amount for pick up in US $ is 999.99 per transaction. Amounts that exceed this, will be paid out into the beneficiary bank account in US $.
  • For example, if you send 1205 USD, 999.99 US $ will be paid out in cash and the remaining 205.1 US $ will be paid into the bank account.
  • The max amount for bank deposit is 9,999.99 USD per transaction.

Is it still possible to transfer Naira to Nigeria with Small World, some other companies are still offering the service?

No, this is due to the decision the Central Bank of Nigeria has taken. Small World follows financial regulations to make sure that your money is being transferred as safely and securely as possible.

How long will this change be in place?

We are following the regulations set by Nigeria’s Central Bank; unless they change their decision, the only currency transfers allowed are in US Dollars. If this regulation changes, then we will update our money transfer service(s) accordingly. We always work hard to give you as many options to transfer your money securely and will notify you as soon as anything changes.

Which cash pickup banks are available in Nigeria?

We collaborate with many partners to make sure you have a great variety of choices.

Pickup & Anywhere pickup can be done at any of the branches of the following banks:

  • Polaris Bank
  • Fidelity Bank
  • Union Bank
  • Wema Bank
  • Ecobank

 For a map-view of locations, please see our separate page for Sending Money to Nigeria.

Who can my beneficiary contact to get more information?

We are here to support you and answer any questions your beneficiary may have. Our dedicated Nigerian customer support team in Lagos can be reached by landline: 014 536 799.

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