Nigeria Suspends International Money Transfers to Mobile Wallets

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Mobile money is no longer one of the receiving methods for international money transfers to Nigeria. This follows a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive that suspends Mobile Money Operators from receiving remittances from international money transfer services. Mobile money services play a significant role in financial inclusion in Nigeria. There are over 60 million unbanked individuals in the country.

New US Dollar Remittance Policy

In November 2020, CBN issued a new remittance policy that allows beneficiaries of remittances in Nigeria to receive the funds in US dollars. On December 16, 2020, the bank issued operational guidelines for the new US dollar remittances policy. The guidelines include the suspension of mobile money remittances to Nigeria. It directs all Mobile Money Transfer Operators (MMOs) to immediately disable wallets from receipt of funds from International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs). Companies failing to follow the guidelines will face stiff sanctions including revocation of license.

Mobile Wallet Transfer Services to Nigeria

Money transfer companies that supported mobile money wallets as one of the receiving methods in Nigeria include Remitly, Rocket Remit, SimbaPay, Sendvalu, Ecobank’s Rapidtransfer, Juba Express, and Mama Money. Other methods for receiving money in Nigeria are cash pickup, bank transfer, or cryptos.

Meanwhile, the bank Central Bank of Nigeria has warned Nigerians in the diaspora against using Transferwise and Azimo money transfer services. The disclaimer issued against the two popular European money transfer services said the two platforms were not licensed to operate in the country. However, the two companies have been serving the Nigeria route for years. On December 16, 2020, Transferwise announced on its website that it has suspended its money transfer services to Nigeria due to recent change in regulation.

Best Options for Sending Money to Nigeria

Some of the best services for sending money to your relatives and family members in Nigeria include WorldRemit, Xoom, Remitly, and Exchange4Free. You can also use crypto-based remittances startups such as Cryptofully, Bitsika, and BitPesa. Alternatively, you can transfer the money via Bitcoin to Nigeria without any external services.