Best Ways to Send Money From The UK To Nigeria
If you live in the United Kingdom (UK) but do not know how you can send GBP to your loved ones and business associates in Nigeria, this article is especially for you. It begins with a look at the new policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria and how they affect transfers from overseas. Read on to find out the most reliable methods and services to use.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and International Transfers to Nigeria
Sending money to Nigeria can be very challenging for some people. This is largely due to the implementation of the policy changes introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2021. The new directive from the country's monetary authority and apex bank has resulted in the banning of many unlicensed International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) and the approval of a few regulated, legal IMTOs to handle remittances from the Nigerian diaspora.
Furthermore, to reduce the cost of sending money home and increase the amount that gets to the receiver, the CBN introduced another policy that compels IMTOs to pay recipients their remittances in foreign currencies, especially the US dollar (USD), rather than in the national currency, the naira (NGN). So, the authorised IMTOs now deliver money sent from overseas to Nigerians in the US dollar (USD), British pound (GBP), euro (EUR), and other foreign currencies.
Remember that, for a receiver to get remittances in USD, they must have a USD bank account, also known as a USD-domiciled account, with a licensed and regulated bank in Nigeria. Also, the CBN gives an additional 5 NGN for every 1 USD sent to a recipient in Nigeria. This incentive is to encourage more flows of foreign currencies into the hands of Nigerians and reduce their cost of making international transactions as they would not need to convert NGN to the international currency of the seller.
How to Send Money to Nigeria from the UK
There are various ways to send money to Nigeria from the UK. The available safe methods are bank transfer, mobile payment apps, cash pickup, and airtime top-up.
Bank transfer is the most popular method for sending money to Nigeria from the UK. The participating foreign banks include those connected to the SWIFT network and other cross-border financial service providers, which we will show you later in this article. This method is often slow compared to the others.
Also, keep in mind that there are many banks receiving transfers from the UK and other overseas destinations in Nigeria. They include, but are not limited to:
- First Bank of Nigeria (FirstBank),
- United Bank for Africa (UBA),
- Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank),
- First City Monument Bank (FCMB),
- Access Bank,
- Zenith Bank,
- Polaris Bank,
- Union Bank of Nigeria (Union Bank),
- Fidelity Bank.
Mobile money payment apps
You may be able to make UK-to-Nigeria money transfers through mobile apps or digital wallets. Here, you only need a smartphone with a stable internet connection and the right app to receive payments sent in Great Britain pounds (GBP) from the UK to Nigeria (Naira, NGN).
The sender of the funds can use a neobank or P2P money transfer service to convert GBP to USD or NGN and send it to a supported digital payment platform in Nigeria. But there are only a handful of such apps due to the new restrictive directives of the CBN. Nevertheless, it is hoped that payments to e-wallets could be officially allowed any time soon, as the CBN can suddenly modify its existing policies or introduce new ones.
The leading international money transfer service providers in Nigeria have many cash pickup locations for the delivery of transferred funds. When you use this method, the recipient will get instant access to the money at a local pickup location pre-selected from over a thousand of them across Nigeria.
Instead of sending physical cash, it is possible to transfer money to someone in Nigeria by topping up the airtime on their mobile phones. You can use your bank app to recharge their mobile lines through the appropriate telecommunication network that they use, which could be MTN, Globacom (Glo), Airtel, or 9mobile. This helps you stay in touch with them.
Best Services for Sending Money From the UK to Nigeria
When it comes to transferring money to Nigeria, we understand that safety and efficiency are top priorities. We have identified the most reliable and secure options for transferring funds from the United Kingdom to Nigeria. These exceptional services include Paysend, WorldRemit, TransferGo, Instarem, Remitly, and Revolut.
To assist you in making an informed decision, we have provided detailed descriptions of each service. These descriptions will ensure that you have all the pertinent information necessary to make a confident choice regarding your money transfer needs. With these trustworthy money transfer services at your disposal, you can confidently transfer funds to Nigeria, whether it's for personal or business purposes. Choose the service that best fits your needs and rest easy knowing that your money is in safe hands.
Paysend is a UK-based international money transfer service that you can use to send GBP online to recipients in Nigeria. The digital platform is secure, fast, trusted, safe to use, and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
Paysend currently supports money transfers to Nigeria for delivery through one of three methods:
- bank accounts (for example, Access Bank),
- bank cards (Mastercard or Visa), and
- more than 500 cash pickup locations.
Keep in mind that, in compliance with the directive of the CBN, you can only send GBP to Nigeria in USD (not NGN). So, as of February 11, 2023, if you send 100 GBP to Nigeria through Paysend, the recipient will receive 117.29 USD, which is an exchange rate of 1.1847, and the payment will be completed in a few minutes. The fee for the transfer is 1.00 GBP.
At present, Paysend users are allowed to make fee-free transfers to bank accounts in Nigeria until March 1, 2023.
To get started with this fast, cheap, and convenient platform, you can download the Paysend app from the App Store, AppGallery, or Google Play Store.
Sign up for an account with Paysend now, or read this overview for more information.
WorldRemit is another online service that can be used to send GBP to Nigeria in USD. It has its headquarters in London (UK) and regional hubs in the United States, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland, and Cameroon. This service is a secure and fast way to make cross-border payments.
The payment delivery methods offered by WorldRemit for UK-Nigeria transfers are bank transfers, cash pickup, and airtime top-up on any of the four major telecommunication networks. Unlike Paysend, WorldRemit does not allow you to send money directly from the UK to a Nigerian bank card.
For your recipient to get paid in Nigeria through WorldRemit, as officially expected, they need to have a USD domiciliary account and tell you the name of the local bank since you will have to select the "Bank Transfer Partner" when about to send the money. The Nigeria-based banks that WorldRemit works with for various kinds of payments from the UK to Nigeria are Access Bank, UBA, FirstBank, FCMB, Fidelity Bank, Polaris Bank, Zenith Bank, Union Bank, and GTBank.
Note that WorldRemit has temporarily suspended its mobile money services from overseas to Nigeria, while all other payment methods aforementioned are available for use. Besides, most of the transfers from GBP to USD via the WorldRemit platform are free of charge.
On February 11, 2023, we tried to send 100 GBP to Nigeria to see the cost. Surprisingly, we found that the platform provides two currencies for payment delivery: Naira (NGN) or US Dollar (USD). Upon selecting the NGN option, the exchange rate for GBP to NGN was 882.9311, which would give the receiver 88,293 NGN via bank transfer or airtime top-up. When we chose to have the money received in USD, the amount of 100 GBP changed to 118.07 USD at an exchange rate of 1.18071, with bank transfer and cash pickup as the only available options.
Also, note that the final amount for cash pickup on WorldRemit is higher than the one for bank transfer when making payments from the UK to Nigeria. The platform gave us 118.61 as what the receiver will get when paid in USD via cash pickup and 118.07 USD via bank transfer.
Find out more about WorldRemit on our website, or go to its online platform to create your account and download its app for Android and iPhone devices.
TransferGo can be used to make simple, secure, fast, and low-cost money transfers from the UK to Nigeria. This London-based fintech company allows people to make transfers to Nigeria in both Naira and USD, but with the option to receive only USD cash payouts in compliance with the new CBN directive. It works in partnership with 22 banks in Nigeria.
One unique feature of money transfers made from the UK to Nigeria through this service is that it supports pay by link, even for customers that are not on the TransferGo service. In other words, on TransferGo, instead of you to send money directly to a bank account in Nigeria, you can provide the receiver’s phone number and a payment link will be sent via SMS to them. When the recipient receives the link, they can click it to fill out an online form with their bank information and have the money deposited into the account they specified.
The payment methods you can use to send money on TransferGo are bank transfers (requiring the receiver’s full name, 10-digit bank account number, and bank name), card transfers (allowing all Visa and Mastercard debit or credit cards), and cash pickup at five USD collection points (major banks) in the country. For cash payouts, the collection details will be sent via SMS to the receiver, who is to appear with a formal identity card, such as their national ID, international passport, or driving licence, for identification at the collection point.
TransferGo offers a zero-fee welcome bonus on the first two transfers a new user makes on its platform. At the end of the "thank you for joining" period, the standard fees apply to money transfers.
As of February 11, 2023, the exchange rate to send 100 GBP to Nigeria was 856.42260, which was to pay out 85,642.26 NGN for free or at the cost of 0.99 GBP. If the payment was to be made in USD, the rate was 1.18740 and the amount to be received was 118.74 USD.
There is more to know about TransferGo, including how to earn 20 GBP for every friend you invite to join the platform. Read this overview or go to its website for additional information.
Instarem is a Singapore-based online international money transfer service that was created to enable its users to have full control over their cross-border payments. It offers a faster and more convenient way to transfer money from one country to another, including payments from the UK to Nigeria. Aside from Singapore, the multiple award-winning Instarem also has licences to operate in several other countries, which include the UK and the United States.
Money transfers from the UK to Nigeria using Instarem can be completed using either of two methods: an online bank transfer or payment to a debit card. The former method attracts no or minimal fees and is a bit slower, while the latter is much faster but costs a higher fee that varies according to the amount you want to send.
A transfer of 100 GBP to NGN through Instarem will attract a fee of zero GBP when it is delivered by online bank transfer and pay out 53,684.66 NGN at an exchange rate of 536.8466. However, if it is delivered by debit card, the variable fee is 0.2 GBP, and the total amount received is $53,577.29.Compared to the other payment systems discussed in this article, Instarem is cheaper in terms of transfer fees but not so rewarding for the recipient, who will get a lower amount in NGN due to the low exchange rate.
Register for an Instarem account if you would like to use this service for your remittances from the UK to Nigeria. Also, keep in mind that when using Instarem, cash pickup is not available in Nigeria. This option is only supported in the Philippines.
Remitly is a US-based online remittance service provider. The company offers payments from more than 20 countries to over 140 countries, including Nigeria.
Immigrants and other residents in the UK can send money to their loved ones and business colleagues in Nigeria through the Remitly payment service. It offers a special rate on a user’s first transfer and works with several banks in Nigeria, including FirstBank, Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, GTBank, UBA, FCMB, and Union Bank, to complete payments.
For money transfers from the UK to Nigeria, Remitly supports online bank deposits and cash pickup as payment delivery methods. Details of the cost to send money to Nigeria from the UK will be provided when the user has signed into the app and entered the transaction details and preferences. However, as of February 11, 2023, Remitly offers new customers a special exchange rate of 1.18 USD to GBP.
Read our honest overview of Remitly to learn more about it. If you would rather create an account with it, go to Remitly now.
Revolut is a London-based neobank and financial super app that enables international money transfers to Nigeria. It offers super-competitive rates for fast and easy exchange of GBP for USD for payment delivery in Nigeria.
To send 100 GBP to Nigeria, Revolut will exchange the currencies at a rate of 1.2039, paying out 120.39 USD to the recipient. The transfer fee is 4 GBP, and the only mode of payment supported for this transaction is an online bank transfer.
Money transfers from the UK to Nigeria via Revolut typically take three to five business days to complete. It does not offer instant payments. You may want to read about the factors that slow down international bank transfers in this post.
Compared to other similar services we have discussed, Revolut does not offer much flexibility in payment and charges a very high fee, although its USD payout to the receiver is quite higher.
Read our overview of Revolut for more information about it. Or you can go to Revolut now to send money to Nigeria from the UK.
Basic Step-by-step Guide on How to Send Money to Nigeria From the UK
As there are different digital platforms and banks for sending money to Nigeria from the UK, one should expect to see a variety of procedures that need to be followed to complete a transaction. However, it is expected that you will follow these general steps when you want to send money (GBP) from your account in the UK to a recipient’s NGN or USD account in Nigeria:
- Create an account with an international money transfer operator approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria. (We have listed the best ones to choose from in this article.) Be ready to provide a valid identity document, a functional email address, and an active mobile phone number in the process. This is important for fraud prevention and KYC compliance.
- Download the mobile app of the money transfer operator or sign into its online platform to provide any additional details required or familiarise yourself with using the digital platform.
- Add the payment method you want to use to fund your transfers to Nigeria. You should use your GBP or UK bank account details.
- Provide the personal and bank details of your recipient or any other related information that your preferred platform requires to determine who should receive the money transfer. Ideally, it should be the details of the receiver’s USD domiciliary account.
- Specify the exact method in which the recipient would like to receive the money, which could be via an online bank transfer, payment to a debit or credit card, cash pickup, or airtime top-up.
- Type the amount you want to send to the receiver and complete or finish the transaction.
- Monitor your inbox for updates on the progress of the transaction until the receiver is paid.
Generally, the cost of money transfers to Nigeria depends on the sum of three elements: the service provider’s exchange rate, their fees, and the method of delivery of the funds to the recipient. So, when making a money transfer to Nigeria, verify these details on the website or app of the payment service provider and calculate the total cost before completing the transaction.
The best app for sending money to Nigeria from the UK is WorldRemit. It offers very cheap rates, low fees, and flexible payment options that are beneficial to both the sender and the receiver of the money.
The best way to send money to Nigeria is to use an online bank transfer to the foreign currency account of the recipient in Nigeria. Typically, the money should be paid to a USD domiciliary account in Nigeria. This method is cheaper than using payment cards.
Yes, British pounds (GBP) can be sent to Nigeria. However, the money cannot be credited into a naira (NGN) account. It can only be paid into a GBP domiciliary account with a local bank in Nigeria.
The Bottom Line
Depending on your needs and preferences, you can use Paysend, WorldRemit, TransferGo, Instarem, Remitly, or Revolut when you want to send money from the UK to Nigeria. These international money-transfer service providers are the cheapest, fastest, safest, and most reliable for this kind of cross-border payment.
Furthermore, the services we have discussed in this article are recognised by the Central Bank of Nigeria, and their money transfer partners include more than 10 local banks in the country. Create an account with them now to keep track of their exchange rates, fees, and promotional offers with deadlines so that you can get the most out of your money transfers from the UK to Nigeria.