(Last Updated On: October 18, 2016)
Bring back Paypal full features to Nigeria, a developer, Rukky Kofi petitions PayPal over what she calls PayPal Payment Stigmatization
Founded in December 1998 with corporate headquarters in San Jose, California, United States, PayPal is a worldwide online payments system which allows PayPal account holders to transfer, receive online payments, and makes purchases online.
|Corporate headquarters of PayPal in San Jose, California, USA. Photo Credit: Wikipedia
|Some years back, the online payment system banned Nigeria, and some countries over what PayPal called online fraudulent activities nationals of the banned countries used PayPal to perpetrate.
The ban was partially lifted in 2014 as a result of intensive campaigns, but Nigerian-based PayPal account holders could only make purchase via their debit card.
Nigerians couldn’t (can’t) receive payment. That has prevented lots of Nigerians from partaking in online jobs that use only PayPal as a payment intermediary.
Early April 2016, a Nigerian developer Kofi Rukky suffered what could be called PayPalPayment Stigmatization (PPPS), after she applied for an online job “that would allow me earn a full-time income by Nigerian standards (about $1000 a month). I qualified for his job after a rigorous screening process but when it was time to setup my work info, I found out that the company makes payments only via PayPal and at the moment, Nigerians cannot receive payments with their PayPal accounts.”
Kofi Rukky subsequently petitioned PayPal: Let Nigerians Receive Funds with PayPal to allow Nigerian-based PayPal account holders receive payment and enjoy full features of the online global payment platform, saying PayPal could take advantage of the online banking platforms of several prominent Nigerian banks like Firstbank and GTB to benefit from the huge Nigerian talents.
Mobile Banking Watch stumbled on her petition on change.org, an online platform where aggrieved people from all over the world can submit their petitions to change something they care about.
Rukky Kofi started the petition with a single signature, but the petition (find the petition at the end of this interview) has received 400 signatures at the time of this interview.
Kofi speaks with Mobile Banking Watch on the PayPal restrictions and what could be done to remove Nigeria from PayPal blacklist.
Can we meet you?
Yes you can meet me formally.
My full name is actually Kofi Oghenerukevwe but most people call me Rukky. I’m a developer and my dream as a Nigerian is to make sure I leave Nigeria a better country than I met it while growing up.
“Not all fraudsters are Nigerians, I’ve personally been scammed by several Americans. …fraudsters and scammers are everywhere.”
PayPal restriction is based on the level of scam and fraud in Nigeria, don’t you think PayPal is justified?
I believe they are.
In fact, I’m quite ashamed to admit that a lot of fraudulent activities perpetrated by Nigerians have affected people from so many countries including other Nigerians who fall victims.
All business is risky and I can understand why Paypal is not willing to take the risk. They’re trying to make their platform as safe for everyone as possible.
Despite the restriction, are you aware that some Nigerians are still using Backdoor means to set up full PayPal account that could receive payment?
Yes I am.
I’m aware that some Nigerians have their relatives abroad setup Paypal accounts for them.
And what’s your reaction?
I think this is a way for people to make a way where there is none. I’d expect that if people are determined enough to achieve something, they’ll eventually find a way to achieve it and I can only hope that they’re determined to achieve something good (do honest work) through these backdoors they’re using.
If others are using backdoor means to get PayPal account that could receive, why don’t you want to try it considering the huge amount you’ll earning from the company you intended working for?
I don’t really like the idea of putting my finances in the hands of distant family members. Besides that, using these backdoors can be extremely stressful and I’d much rather have a legitimate option available to me.
You did mention in your petition that the said firm was willing to pay you $1000/month. Can you share with us the nature of the job?
I was supposed to caption videos. It’s a freelance job where I get paid $0.5 per minute of video captioned and I arrived at the estimated $1000 / month using the average earnings on the company’s website and deciding within myself that I would work optimally.
What do you think is the way out of PayPal restriction?
I think the only way is for PayPal to take the risk with Nigeria. Not all fraudsters are Nigerians, I’ve personally been scammed by several Americans.
I’m aware that some Nigerians are in fact looking to scam people but that’s something you can say is specifically happening in Nigeria, fraudsters and scammers are everywhere.
Specifically I would suggest that PayPal take advantage of the online banking platforms of several prominent Nigerian banks like Firstbank and GTB.
I mean, if they can partner with them in such a way that people are able to access all of PayPal’s services via the banking platforms then it would make things easier for PayPal I think because online banking has proved effective in Nigeria (I don’t hear of cases of fraud often with online banking and even if there are cases like that, the banks are also concerned with keeping such fraudulent activities at bay so PayPal wouldn’t be the only one trying to fight fraud).
What’s your message to PayPal concerning this issue?
Paypal, Nigeria is a big market. Try launching business in the market and see if it’s for good first.
Consider that a lot has changed in Nigeria’s landscape over the years. Most of the people who use the internet for transactions are actually transacting honestly.
What do you think is the way out of online fraud in Nigeria?
I like to think that in a society where there are numerous opportunities for people to do honest work, criminal activities are minimized.
There aren’t many opportunities for honest work that pay well in Nigeria. I personally feel that if Nigerians have more access to the opportunities available to the global workforce then online fraud in Nigeria will die a natural death.
However, this enhanced access is only possible if Nigerians are actually able to receive money from as many online payment processors as possible and that includes paypal.
Petition: PayPal allow Nigerians to receive paypal funds
“Today was a sad day for me. I applied to a job online that would allow me earn a full-time income by Nigerian standards (about $1000 a month). I qualified for his job after a rigorous screening process but when it was time to setup my work info, I found out that the company makes payments only via paypal and at the moment, Nigerians cannot receive payments with their paypal accounts.
This hasn’t happened to just me. In fact, this isn’t the only instance. Imagine spending countless hours building a product to sell in a marketplace only to find that they make their payments exclusively via paypal? This is the situation for countless Nigerians who are motivated and looking to make money online and who insist on doing so with integrity.
Nigeria is a country filled with a lot of poor people (by global standards) with very limited opportunities hence the need to seek opportunities to make a living online. A job that pays $1000 a month is enough to make you a happy Nigerian and this sort of job is not exactly easy to find in the country.
The internet presents willing Nigerians with opportunity. The opportunity to earn their living legitimately online. However Paypal – the ‘industry standard’ for online payments makes this opportunity inaccessible to Nigerians in most cases. Making mass payouts is a relatively easy task when done using Paypal’s business platform. Hence most internet businesses (even those that welcome a global workforce) choose to make payments to their workers via PayPal.
Nigerians, who qualify to be a part of the workforce for some internet companies are however not able to receive payments simply because we can’t receive payments with Nigerian PayPal accounts.
I understand that Nigeria doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to scams and internet fraud. However, a lot has changed in the country over the years and internet fraud is no longer popular among the Nigerians who carry out numerous transactions online.
Thankfully, Nigerians can use their PayPal accounts to purchase items from so many websites (even websites that don’t process Nigerian credit cards). However, the problem remains that, for some reason(s), Nigerians can’t receive payments via PayPal.
It’s not news that at the moment, Nigeria is a third-world country. Most Nigerians don’t earn in a year what the average citizen of a developed country can make in a month.
There just aren’t many good jobs in Nigeria and the lack of basic infrastructure makes it very difficult and expensive for foreign investors to invest.
Unemployment rates are high and it’s harder than ever to maintain a decent living standard. The internet presents hope for a lot of people facing almost similar and in many cases better conditions in their countries.
The internet presents an opportunity for everyone to be a part of a global community where you can earn money legitimately provided you’re qualified and able to work. This hope is blurred for most Nigerians because we currently can’t receive money via the most popular payment platform.
Payoneer could have been the perfect alternative because it processes payments to Nigerians and in fact, many Nigerians use Payoneer to receive funds.
However, Payoneer is not as popular among business owners as Paypal so there is still a lot of opportunity Nigerians don’t have access to.
The goal of this petition is to urge Paypal to re-access the situation. There’s a really vast market of Nigerians who will happily subscribe to Paypal’s services once we are able to receive payments and manage business accounts.
At the moment, a lot of qualified, hard working Nigerians can’t make money online simply because they can’t receive payments via Paypal. These are individuals who have been offered project and job contracts that they can’t take advantage of because they can’t receive their pay using Nigerian Paypal accounts.