How to Send Money from South Africa to Nigeria


There are various means through which one can send funds/money from South Africa to Nigeria. This article provides you information on these various means, steps to send money to Nigeria and the best options available to you.

How to Send Money from South Africa to Nigeria

Steps to send money from South Africa to Nigeria

  • Create an account with a money transfer service
  • Provide your information such as:


Contact information

Proof of identity

Bank account information

  • Provide the contact information of the recipient (the receiver of the money)
  • Select a payment option and enter the full details of your transfer
  • Ensure you keep track of the reference number or receipt you have received from the money transfer service provider in order to monitor the progress of your transfer.

International money transfers

Generally, international money transfers work by allowing you to send cash from your personal bank account to an intermediary bank or transfer service. This bank or transfer service then exchanges the money and sends it to the recipient in another country such as Nigeria.

Depending on the transfer service provider, you are provided the option of initiating a money transfer in person or online via your device phone. The money can either be deposited into your recipient’s bank account or made available as cash for pickup in person at a specified location in the recipient’s country.

An online money transfer service provides you with the following options:

Cash pickup

Bank account to bank account deposit

Airtime transfers

Good transfer service providers also provide the following options:

  • No minimum transfer amount
  • Large range of destinations in terms of delivery
  • Competitive exchange rate (affordability)

South African Banks vs. money transfer companies

Indeed, you can send money to Nigeria via many South African banks. However, these banks often charge high transfer fees and also offer exchange rates that are way lower than rates used when banks are trading with other transfer providers.

A good money transfer specialist would offer better exchange rates and charge lower fees, thereby saving you more money.

Measures with which to compare transfer companies when sending money to Nigeria

There are a few measures or factors to consider when you want to send money to Nigeria. This would help you cut out the best affordable deal.

  • Exchange rates: This is one of the important factors. Well, it is very important to the transfer service providers themselves. Many of these providers use unfair exchange rates for their profit. Make sure you compare the rate you’re offered by the providers to the mid-market rate. The mid-market rate is that with which the banks and other transfer services use when trading among themselves. Look out for exchange rates with the smallest margins between.
  • Transfer fees: In regards to transfer fees, find out if the service provider charges a flat fee as their pay or takes a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
  • Payment and delivery options. Look out for the various payment options offered by the service providers:

Credit card online

Via phone codes

Via an app.

Other transfer providers offer you agent locations for cash payments and pickups. You should also ask how your recipient can receive your funds:

Bank account

Cash pickup

Mobile wallet etc.

  • Transfer speed: If you need your money transferred fast enough, companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram allow for quick cash pickups, often delivered within minutes. This could be more expensive. However, if you have more time to spare, you’ll get better rates and cheaper fees.
  • Transfer limits: Huge transfer of money attracts lower fees. Hence, your best option might depend on how much you want to send. When making huge transfers, weigh the best exchange rate. If you are sending smaller amounts, compare the fees you’ll pay asides the exchange rate.
  • “Hedging” options: This has to do with risk management. Ask if you can schedule payments ahead of time. This would help protect you from market fluctuations.
  • Customer support: Ensure you work only with service providers that offer reliable customer service through the mail, Internet chat or phone calls or in person. This is important in case of emergencies.

Options for sending money to Nigeria from South Africa

  • Bank transfers.  South African banks offer you the option of wiring money to other banks in Nigeria.
  • Online money transfer services. Online money transfers are easy and convenient. You can transfer money online from the comfort of your home.
  • Providers with cash pickup. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram provide you with the option of picking up cash from agents in your recipient’s locations across Nigeria. If exploring the option of using the cask pick up, there is information that must be passed onto the recipient. These include:

The transaction reference number

A  photo ID.

Western Union and MoneyGram are the two largest money transfer service providers in the world. They have agents at different locations around the globe.

Safety tips for picking up cash in Nigeria

Picking up cash whether in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world, requires that you be careful so as not to be a target for thieves. Below are a few safety precautions you must keep in mind:

  • Call ahead: Call the company ahead so as to be sure of the best and safest time to pick up your cash. Remember that daylight hours are best.
  • Bring a friend: Ask a friend to come along with you. It is dangerous to carry money when walking alone.
  • Deposit your money immediately: Do not keep money with you for a long time. The likelihood of being robbed grows the longer you have the money with you. Go straight to a bank and deposit your cash as soon as possible.
  • Keep your cash hidden: Keep the cash in a wallet or purse so you will not be trailed.

Cash pickup locations in Nigeria

·        Lagos

·        Kano

·        Abuja


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