After waiting for a little over a decade, PayPal arrived Nigeria in 2014 – arrived Nigeria with a half-baked service. A service that does little than market foreign products to Nigerians and prevent Nigerians from marketing theirs.
From the first day they stepped into the Nigerian Market, the intent was quite clear. To make maximum profit from the Africa’s second largest economy and deliver nothing in return. Yes, I said that, the service PayPal provides to Nigerians is completely one dimensional and only profit foreign companies and businesses abroad.
PayPal would fully accept Nigerians only when their US allies has found a more reliable means to do business. Nigeria has always been the dumping ground of failed US investments. It will come of no surprise if PayPal turn to Nigerians – desperate to do business with them – only after their popularity among US companies has declined. See why we think so.
Do Nigerians Really Need PayPal?
In case you are new to the current system, Nigerians can only pay money with their PayPal account but cannot receive money with their accounts. Some Nigerians has led various campaigns, asking that they should be able to receive money through their accounts like in many other countries where PayPal exist. But this campaign don’t usually make it past as many social media platforms.
Nigerians need PayPal both on the individual scale and the corporate scale. There are so many companies looking to integrate a reliable, convenient and globally accepted payment gateway to their online store. PayPal is one of the few payment gateways meeting such criteria. Some individuals, especially freelancers has found themselves in a position where having a PayPal account is the only thing standing between them and a life-transforming job.
Just recently, one Kofi Rukky called out PayPal on change.org. She asked that they should allow Nigerians receive money through their PayPal accounts. The petition like every other campaign, fell on deaf ears even after gaining the attention of over 1200 Nigerians.
Like so many other Nigerians, we have often pondered on the reason why PayPal isn’t fully functional in Nigeria. Reasons why Nigerians cannot receive money through their accounts? In our twitter handle, Geek NG and 3rd Planet Techies responded to our question on why PayPal doesn’t send money to Nigerians. They suggested that “Nigeria is still considered a high risk country, the possibility of getting a full PayPal service is pretty slim”.
Is Nigeria Really that Bad?
Nigeria as a country has long being associated with fraud. How can we ever forget the “Nigerian Prince”? The advance fee fraud has also earned popularity across the globe.
How far away is the 1960s from today?
Does time really change yesterday? PayPal doesn’t think so.
Miss Kofi Rukky is just one example of a Nigerian who is relying on the internet to earn legitimate income for themselves. As at March 31, 2017 there are 93,591,174 people accessing the internet from Nigeria. 8th position in the world’s overall ranking of internet users. According to Internet World Stats, this population amounts to 2.5% of the overall internet internet users in the world (3,731,973,423). It is likely to grow at the rate 46,695.6% in the coming year.
This population of internet users are composed of Bloggers, Programmers, Internet Marketer, Developers, Designers and various other professionals. Professionals who has come to the ‘free web space’ seeking a legitimate way to earn income. It is also important to note that this population has its fair share of cyber criminals and 419 internet frauds.
But is it fair to punish an entire population seeking to make clean income because of a crime committed by a few individuals? I’m sure Byron Howard and Rich Moore of Zootopia will disagree.
Sift Science Disagrees Too
Out of curiosity, I was forced to conduct a research on economic cyber-crime. And it was alarming to know that even the USA has more e-commerce fraud than Nigeria. Really, Nigeria is not even in the top 10. Sift Science has developed a comprehensive analysis on e-commerce fraud activity from practically everywhere in the world. Nigeria, contrary to the general assumption, lies 7 places away from the top 10 countries involved in e-commerce fraud.
The research showed that people in the smaller countries (in terms of population) like Latvia, Egypt, Mexico, Ukraine, etc are found to participate more in e-commerce fraud than Nigerians. Even bigger economic countries like Russia and the USA has earned its place in e-commerce crime above Nigeria.
Most US Companies are Losing Trust in PayPal
Knowledge has increased. US companies are becoming more aware of the loopholes associated with PayPal. Really, if their system is as secure as they claim, why the need to alienate a certain individuals? That is a debate for another day.
Minimizing cost and maximizing profit is the basic objective of every business. Over the years, PayPal hasn’t helped most businesses in the US towards achieving this basic business objective. Customers who do not have a PayPal account and wishes to buy products has to go through the rigorous process of creating a PayPal account. This in return makes companies/businesses lose potential revenues and clients.
It has also being argued that PayPal puts customers at a risk of identity theft as they demands too much personal information, makes misleading claims, tricks people into signing up and creating an account they don’t want and extorts more personal data from those who signed up. With too much privacy questions raised recently, it wouldn’t be surprising to see people considering a life after PayPal. And with Bitcoin gaining more international recognition, it is only a matter of time before more serious businesses start jumping ship.
Why PayPal needs Nigeria?
Nigeria’s economy is the second largest in Africa ( after South Africa) and her banking system is one of the best in Africa. Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa and the 7th most populous in the world. PayPal would get to realize that there are lot of business people in the country. People who are willing to use their accounts for legitimate businesses in Nigeria.
Also, operating in Nigeria opens a unique opportunity for them in Africa. As the arguable giant of Africa, the success of most businesses in Africa depends on how successful it is in Nigeria. Several companies has denied services to Nigeria on the basis that there is no payment gateway for Nigerians.
PayPal full arrival to Nigeria will mean more companies extending their services to Nigeria. More revenues generated for both parties and more happy Nigerians. Everybody wins! But PayPal won’t see this until their US allies turn their back on them.