A few years ago, there was no single country on the African continent where one could send/receive money online via Paypal. Not one. Then there was South Africa. A few countries were added, as most were later covered. Even now, all the African countries can only send – they cannot receive money via Paypal.

Any enquiry to Paypal on these issues always come with the same answer:

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.

Just recently, Paypal announced that some more countries can now withdraw their Paypal funds to a Visa or Mastercard credit, debit or prepaid card. Still, no African country is among the 26 that have these added functionality.

It is indeed interesting to note that Paypal is not available to residents of Nigeria which is Africa’s 2nd largest economy after South Africa  and also the most populous nation in Africa. The potential is there. Indeed, many banks in Nigeria now issue international Mastercard credit cards and local debit cards are also widely used at ATMs, on the Internet and at Point-Of-Sale (POS) terminals.

I am speculating on some reasons why residents of some African countries cannot use Paypal while others have just limited use:

1. Banking system: the banking system in some African countries are not entirely electronic though many countries are fast developing in this area. Countries like South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria have gone far. Their banking system are quite developed.

2. Governments policy about the influx or rather out flux of foreign currency like Euro, British Pounds sterling and the US Dollar. Fear of the economic concept “Capital Flight” has made many African governments maintain a strict control on the outflow of foreign exchange from their respective countries.

3. High level of potential fraud: This would relate more to Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana. The incidence of fraud reported from these countries are high indeed and many online merchants and fraud-screening databases have marked these countries red. Legit businesses are thus negatively affected. Very few online merchants or mail forwarding agencies would ship to these countries.

What do you think?

63 COMMENTS

  1. This is seriously affecting most of us trying to earn legitimate income on the internet. I wish paypal reconsider its stance on this issue, though fraud may be their fear but at least some security features are put in place.
    And for us finding it difficult to do business(legal) online, which other means is best suitable? As most of this affiliate company ask for our paypal account…..

  2. I live in South Africa and the PayPal issue is huge for me as I do work on the net and have to have money paid into friends’ accounts in the USA. They keep it for me for when I next travel there.

    It is a crazy set-up because small businesses cannot operate on the internet. Our local Chamber of Commerce in Durban is investigating the matter at government level because I think it has to do with exchange control.

    • Hi Karen,

      I can imagine the trouble you are going through, I am an experienced internet researcher and i have a solution to your problem.

      i will assist you in receiving money online VIA paypal. 3 steps that will cost you only $50 and you will have a credit card , 100% legal US bank Account and 100% legal US address which will be forwarding mails to your local address. I have done this for others so i something i have tested and it works.

  3. Don’t worry, the day it will come when all countries users can be able to withdraw fund from their paypal account.

    Uses from Malaysia & 25 other Asia Pacific countries have been waited so long.

    Check out my blog post about what are the other 25 countries as ready to withdraw their fund into local cards.

  4. Yes PayPal may not be available for receipts in Africa, but other options are. You can use services like MoneyBookers.com and AlertPay.com

    • Thank you brother for your suggestion, I am also in Tanzania, tell me how to join with Moneybrookers.com and AlertPay.com. I want to do business online and receive money online.Please I need your assistance in here.

  5. My simple opinion is that if paypal can afford to let citizens of some African countries to send money then they should also give the ability to receive funds as well. It should be a dual service – send and receive at the same time.

  6. It is dishearten to see this kind discrimination if i may say happening. Well one day Paypal will come to realize the large opportunity in Africa. But I hope it will not be too late for it to realize.

  7. Here is a solution to the problem for South Africans and citizens of the excluded country’s to receive money from the 60 million PayPal members.Accept credit cards and PayPal from your website in 5 minutes http://www.online-e-commerce.co.za offer the solution to enable your website to accept payments,you even receive a ATM debit card so the money from the payment company’s that does the transaction on your behalf at a small fee transfer it back into your debit card.

  8. I wonder why Nigeria the most populous black nation won’t be allowed into paypal system. We all in Nigeria are not fraudstars as they think and morever the most advance form of cybercrimes is coming from this so called developed country.I pray paypal would reason to these and change its decision before its to late becausea Africa is emaging as world economic power.It might sound funny, but thats the through

  9. Be carefull not to purchase any information on how to get Paypal to work in your country. Paypal is known to freeze accounts, and take the money. I bought the information at various sources, and have published it here (http://paypal-in-southafrica.blogspot.com/) for you for free, as well why it might not work. Since it is public knowledge on various forums in anycase.

    I don’t think that government policy is necessarily the cause for Paypal not enterring South Africa, since we have other similar services, like SETCOM. Explain that.

  10. The absense of a simple payment system delays the offering of simple but effective solutions like e-learning. Telling users to pay money into an account, wait for it to clear before they can start using the service or download the product just does not make sense. I hope we can put our collective brains together and come up with a working solution to this problem. The winner is going to get very rich indeed.

  11. Africa is by and large a huge joke to foreign businesses. Investing, or facilitating their services in your shithole continent is not very profitable for them. Also, Africa is too volatile and corrupt really.

    If it were not for western involvement in Africa, you all would have died by now from either disease or starvation. Sooner or later the west is gonna say ‘enough is enough, we’ve had it with these losers.’ and just give up bothering about you.

    Good luck surviving into the future.

    P.S. with ‘419’ being synonymous with ‘Nigeria’ who in their right mind would risk doing business in that country?

  12. AFRICANS DESERVE THIS PLIGHT. U HAVE REFUSED TO GROW UP. U ALWAYS WANT TO BE SPOON FED. WHAT HAVE THE SCAMMERS AND FRAUDSTERS USED THEIR MONEY FOR APART FROM LUXURIOUS HOUSES AND CARS. DID THEY CONSIDER PAYING SHARES IN PAYPAL SO THEIR VOICE COULD BE HEARD? HAVE THEY CONSIDERED SETTING UP FACTORIES TO HELP LIFT AFRICAN OUT OF POVERTY? AFRICA HAS BEEN CRAWLING FOR TOO LONG ITS ABOUT T IME TO GET UP AND WALK. I THINK WE HAVE TO MAIM ALL THOSE LUXURY FANS AND UNITE TO CAPTURE THE “FRONT”. EVERY CONTINENT IS POSITIONED WHAT ABOUT US.
    I TRIED AN SMS SERVICE THAT CLAIMED “FREE SMS TO PHONES WORLDWIDE” I CHECKED THE LIST AND AFRICA WAS NOT LISTED WHAT IT MEANS IS WE ARE NOT COUNTED AS PART OF THE WORLD WE ARE STILL THOSE WARMONGERING, STARVING, SAVAGES. I LIVE IN NYC AND THIS IS TYPICAL OF MANY. EVEN THE SOME HISPANICS EVENTHOUGH THERE ARE COUTRIES MORE DEVELOPED THAN THOSE SPANISH COUNTRIES. SO DONT BE FOOLED AFRICANS, OUR TRADEMARK IS HORRIBLE. AND IT KEEPS FUCKING UP BY THOSE SICKLY HIV VIDEOS AND FOREIGN AID

  13. AMERICA IS AN ILLUSION AND A BRAIN WASHING MATRIX LET US NOT GET PLUGGED INTO IT. IF U ARE INTERESTED IN FINDING WAYS TO GO AROUND THIS PAYPAL SCHEME JUST HOLLA AND I’LL CERTAINLY SEND U SOME APPROACHES THROUGH U TUBE. THAT WAY U CAN PURCHASE AND GET PAID WITHOUT THE REDTAPEISM

  14. Paypal is such a great system but this exclusion is very disheartening.I am a South African living Cayman Islands in Caribbean and both these countries are on Send Only List…No winning here!

  15. Hi David,

    Do you still use AlertPay? Have you experienced any problems with them?

    Another question…do you know of any reliable Affiliate Networks (like ClickBank) availible for bloggers/vendors/merchants in Africa?

  16. I have since been using Alertpay and I cannot remember any serious problem using Alertpay.

    There are several affiliate networks that accept people from all over the world – African countries included. I am not into affiliate marketing and so none comes to mind right now.

  17. I am a Kenyan. i have tried everything I can to get my Paypal account to receive money, it does not work. I think its about time one of us Africans developed our own Paypal version, its time for change, no more spoon-feeding from the ‘West’. For how long shall such discrimination go on? Any one feeling me? Such a project is very much needed, what do you fellow Africans think?

  18. l hope paypal would remove this polite disclammer and just talk to us”africans”tell us when this vatal services will commence or just put our hopes down so we can move on.we are hurting.

  19. trust me, guys…

    its GOOD we cant use paypal here in africa.
    Paypal has caused the downfall of thousands of online businesses and destroyed countless people’s reputations.

    They freeze peoples accounts for no apparent reason and it’s estimated less than 10% of people EVER get their money back!

    PayPal does this to make interest off the money in the frozen account. Search the internet and read it for your self!

    Alertpay is gaining popularity and is much safer company to use with your money. Join today!
    STAY AWAY FROM PAYPAL… THEY ARE EVIL!!

  20. The reason why PayPal cannot be funded, only payment through them, is because of regulations in our country (South Africa) that prevent funding of e-currencies. I tried funding an e-gold or LibertyReserve (International e-currencies) account with wire transfer at ABSA and they just refused. Reason: against Reserve Bank regulations to fund e-currencies. If we can get these regulations changed, only then can we normalise online trading in South Africa

  21. Let us forget about Paypal…A Ghanaian startup, BSL that has has Paypal and Ebay in it but from an African perspective promises total liberation of Africa through trade. Check them at bslglobal.com

  22. In a related development, setcom. com. They claim to be available virtually everywhere on earth where there is some form of civilisation. They give their members the ability to pay or receive payments in all the countries where they are doing business.

    • If you’re talking about Paypal-alternatives, there are several hundreds of them but none of them gets to half the reach of Paypal. Paypal has become ubiquitous in the e-commerce world. You ignore it at your own expense thus the need to apply pressure on Paypal Inc to include Africa on their platform, in a more effective manner.

      • David, I noted that Setcom is not different from Alertpay. Now that Paypal continues to sideline Africa, I think these Paypal-alternatives will enable someone, who is selling stuff online from Africa, to receive payments. Let us leave the Paypal people alone. They are doing all this because they are a monopoly. Going for Alertpay and the like will in some way break their monopoly.

  23. PayPal is committing Suicide in the International Market. Remember how MySpace only concentrated on marketing itself to U.S. and forgot other countries and thereafter Facebook came and overtook them. The same will be with PayPal the Alternate solutions from Smaller Companies will give PayPal Worldwide a Run for their Money

  24. I have initiated this for people in Kenya – http://www.monyamickle.com

    Unfortunately banking restrictions have prevented me from opening the system up to all. At least it points the way and will allow people to experience real time payments on websites. Bear in mind that most people in Kenya are unbanked and so credit cards are not available to them.

    By using http://www.kenyaonlineauction.com people can at least buy and sell online. It’s just the beginning

  25. Is AlertPay becoming another PayPal for non US/Europe residents? You sign up and you get the message below:

    Due to changes in our User Agreement and our compliance with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist funding legislation, all Business account holders must verify their AlertPay accounts to deposit, send and/or withdraw their money. Currently, your account is “unverified”. If your account is not verified in 30 days, you will only be able to access your account to submit verification documents.

  26. Hello all, Oluniyi David Ajao i use alert pay account but i can not create a credit card account, have u the same problem at alert pay.thankx

  27. HI all,pls David i have some money in my alert pay account, but i do not know where and how to shop with the money online, can u pls show me where and how,thankx,bless uuu

  28. Just found your blog while investigating the possibilities for using PayPal for HOCODECO, a Community Development Programme in Tanzania. Very disappointed to learn of the approach PayPal have adopted for African countries.

    While I can see how the state of African Banking Systems and the fear of potential fraud are possibly factors in PayPal’s thinking, I am not so sure regarding the Government Policy point. If governments are concerned about the out flux of foreign currency and Capital Flight, surely the restriction would be on sending funds via PayPal? Or am I missing something here?

  29. Its seems interesting with alert pay,but where can u shop with them.And why do they allow us open accounts with them while knowing Africans cant enjoy its full benefits.
    Can any one you participants,feed me up other alternatives to receiving money with paypal,and how do their card work?.
    Thanks all.

  30. HI THIS PASTOR EVANS I AND MY WIFE RUN A CHILDREN CENTER IN KENYA NAIROBI KAYOLE SOWETO SLUMS WE HAVE MORE THAN 70 NEEDY CHILDREN AND HAVE FRIENDS WHO HELP US THEY ARE FROM AMERICA,BAHAMAS,UK AND OTHERS ALL OF THEM USE MONEY GRAM OR WESTRAN UNION TO SEND DONATION HOW CAN WE HAVE PAYPLA TO HELP IS REDUCE THE COST OF SEND DONATION PLIZ ADVICE THANK YOU

  31. Hi All,
    Can i receive money via paypal in Uganda without credit card? I have tried to connect my paypal account to my bank account but that service look to be unavailable I need a help.
    Thank you all

  32. Sincerely speaking Africa has been down graded,insulted and treated like a outcast.Nigeria on the other side has suffered from numerous insultive attack like 419,scammers,fraudsters and lot more…..this is so untrue cos they are trying to say the majority of Africans are scammers.the west too have these fraudsters but they are too smart,far too smart.

  33. One of the ways through which we can cause great change in Afrca is the youth- to cast off all selfishes and self interests and begin to form groups and partnerships in all academic aspects and target an chievement. I mean: friends in a science class should join heads and press on to come out with something. Friends in the arts class should join heads and press on to make up with something. Business students shoul do the same. IT students the same.etc With time, a new generation of united intellectuals who have the mindset of change, will be created. Out of these people will arise the prsidents, business men, scientists, inventors etc. I’ve even gathered my group of computer graphic designers, and we are coming out with some feature on facebook. Coalition era now.

  34. This whole PayPal ‘thing’ is real funny,you know.
    Why give some countries 50% access to your services and others 100%. It just isn’t fair! And to the guy who claim fraudsters use their monies to fund their luxurious living,lemme tell you this:
    The government itself is corrupt. Its an ‘everyone for himself’ affair,so there’s always struggle for power. Currently in Ghana,a man who had been a President of the Republic of Ghana for close to 20 years (need I say he attained power via coup d’eat) now wants his wife to run for president just because his former Vice,who is now President isn’t as controllable as he thought he’d be. Now ask yourself: What does a family who have enjoyed power for 20 years still want the power for? Simple,they’re power-hungry.
    Now when that happens,opposition members won’t get certain jobs and monopoly resumes.
    Its funny to note that most internet fraudsters are from the slums of the country. The most prominent in Ghana,Nima.

  35. Oluniyi D. Ajao,its quite simple really. Read the thread. You notice where the arguement leads to when Don Keli posted ‘Africa desrves this plight!’
    Look at where the trend shifts to:
    PayPal not available in most of Africa»The perception that Africa is full of fraudsters»Don Keli saying ‘(African) Fraudsters use their money to suppourt their lux living AND the mention of foreign aid (Note:foreign aids are handed to the government,or I dey lie?)»Government=Politics»To Stabilize an Economy,a Government Needs to do a good job»a good government will reduce the cost of living and increase the standard of livng»the number of fraudsters and scammers would reduce»Paypal would d feel safe to add Africa to its list.
    All this boils down to the efficiency of the government. If you don’t belive me,just look @ US recession.

  36. This is frustrating for me. I am in Australia and have a contact in Ghana and I want to sell Ghanaian arts and fabrics in my Ebay store. I have no problems dealing via Paypal with my Chinese suppliers, but I can’t do business with my Ghanaian contact because he is not allowed to open a Paypal account. Does anyone know of some other way we can do business with something like Paypal?

  37. Have you Tried http://www.WowPayy.net, see the features, Launching in Africa soon. They also have affiliate/partnership programme where users earn up 50% on transactions of anybody you refer to the website for life. (#useyouraffiliatebannerorlink)

    Covering: Kenya, SA, Nigeria, Egypt and Morocco

    I hope this link is helpful

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