Thank you CBN – Central Bank 2020s Money Transfers to Nigeria

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Thank you CBN – Central Bank 2020s Money Transfers to Nigeria

Money transfers to Nigeria from UK/Europe were working rather well… until mid December when the CBN changed the rules. Azimo and TransferWise and a few others are setting up to do USD or EUR transfers to domiciliary (foreign currency) accounts via SWIFT.

Not everyone has such an account set up, and so fortunately WorldRemit let you pick up USD cash from several banks. I’ve used this and while it’s a little time consuming I wanted to share my perspective on how to make it work.

(use this referral and we both get a £20 bonus I think when you send more than £100 for the first time)

This will only work if:

  • you or a representative can go to a bank in person to fill out a form
    • Fidelity, Zenith, Firstbank, Access and Polaris branches
    • (you don’t need to be a customer of these banks)
  • you have a Glo/MTN/AirTel phone line active (not 9mobile)
    • to receive a one-time code while at the bank
  • person picking up has photo id
    • International Passport, Nigerian Driving Licence, Identity Card

(Bold is what I used.)

The sender needs to know these details for the collector and agree with them to use the same details:

  • Full name on their id
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Email address

The collector will be asked for details about the sender:

  • Purpose of transfer (eg transfer to self, family support)
  • Source of funds (eg personal savings)
  • DOB of sender and receiver, possibly
  • Sender Address
  • Sender Form of Id (eg interntional passport — what you used when registered with WorldRemit)
  • Sender’s Occupation
  • Sender Phone number (possibly in country of origin, or Nigeria)
  • Possibly Sender’s account number (unclear if that is a WorldRemit or Bank account number; I used the latter)

Here’s the process:

  1. Go to worldremit, create an account and login .
    • (First time customers will need to provide some proof of address and identity, such as photos of passport info page or driving licence.)
  2. Start a transfer to Nigeria (specify cash pickup).
Example of the WR user interface.
Example of the cash pickup calculator
  1. Type an amount you want to send.
  2. Adjust the amount you are sending so you get multiples of $10.
    • Possibly it’s wise to aim for multiples of $50 if you can because large denominations are more available.
    • They round UP above $0.5, so if you put in 200 and it tells you it would give you $268, then try increasing the GBP till you get towards $300. Today any amount £223.66-224.40 will give you $300. A fee is then added to what you have to send.
  3. Then click Continue.
  4. Specify a recipient (giving full name — check it matches id — phone number, email address)
  5. Then choose how to fund the transfer – by card payment or bank transfer.
    • Card payment is best if you can do that. Use a debit card.
  1. The receiver will receive an email with the code for the transfer.
    • Take this code with you to the bank, along with your phone and photo id.
  2. Go to any bank from this list (Fidelity, Zenith, Firstbank, Access and Polaris).
  3. Go to the FX teller and say you want to collect Dollars from WorldRemit.
  4. They will give you a form to fill out with details of sender and recipient, amount, transfer code. When processed you should get a code (OTP) to your phone.

Comments / Questions

You do not need to be a customer at the bank where you pick up. (I don’t bank with Zenith, but they were happy to serve me there.)

Cash pickup depends on the bank having real USD in stock to the value you want. I was successful at Zenith in Jos in December 2020. I waited for 20 minutes in line and the processing took about 20 minutes more. One person I know had problems at FirstBank in Jos due to systems failures or One Time Pins not being received.

Make sure the collector’s name and date of birth on their BVN match their Id.

After getting the dollars…

The street rate for USD to Naira was ₦460 when I changed mine. Check Lagos rates here. Feel free to let me know what rates you got and I may try to track where is good:

Your $ > ₦ experience:

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