Mixed opinion for entrepreneurs as PayPal extends to Nigeria

A PayPal sign is seen at an office building in San Jose, CaliforniaOpinions are divided among Nigerian entrepreneurs following news that PayPal is entering 10 new countries this week, including Nigeria, providing online payment alternatives for consumers via mobile phones or PCs in markets often blighted by financial fraud.

While some welcome the development, many believe the service has passed its usefulness. In an interview with EntrepreNEWS, many advocate for the adoption of local services instead.

Starting yesterday, Tuesday 17, consumers in Nigeria, which has 60 million users and has Africa’s largest population, along with nine other markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America will be able to make payments through PayPal.

Rupert Keeley, the executive in charge of the EMEA region of PayPal, the payments unit of eBay Inc, said in an interview on Monday the expansion would bring the number of countries it serves to 203.

“PayPal has been going through a period of reinvention, refreshing many of its services to make them easier to use on mobile (phones), allowing us to expand into fast-developing markets,” Keeley said.

Once the services go live, customers in the 10 countries with access to the Web and a bank card authorized for Internet transactions will be able to register for a PayPal account and make payments to millions of sites worldwide.

Initially, PayPal is only offering “send money” services for consumers to pay for goods and services at PayPal-enabled merchant sites while safeguarding their financial details. This is free to consumers and covered by fees it charges merchants.

“We think we can give our sellers selling into this market a great deal of reassurance,” said Keeley, a former regional banking executive with Standard Chartered Plc and senior executive with payment card company Visa Inc.

PayPal does not yet cover peer-to-peer transactions, which allow consumers to send money to other consumers. It has not yet enabled local merchants in the new markets to receive payments, nor is it offering other forms of banking services, he said.

 

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