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How To Use Zelle In Nigeria

Nowadays, you don’t have to walk around with money in your pocket or purse all the time. With your mobile phone, you can easily pay, send and receive money using mobile payment options. Zelle is one of the most used mobile money solutions in the world.

A lot of Nigerian ask the question, can I use Zelle in Nigeria? as they want to know how to use the platform from Nigeria. Well, you’re on the right page as you’re going to find out everything you want to know. Read on as I discuss how to use Zelle in Nigeria.

What is Zelle? 

Simply put, Zelle is a means for you to send and receive money to anyone from the comfort of your mobile phone amongst other gadgets. It’s based in the United States so you’ll find it as a featured payment option in many online stores and bank apps. 

Using Zelle is simple. You only need the phone number or email address of the person who you want to send money to. With that, you can easily send money to them so long as they have a Zelle account themselves. Money sent via Zelle automatically gets deposited into the recipient bank account.

Supposing the receiver doesn’t have a Zelle account. They’ll get a notification with steps on how they can open an account. Hence, the payment will be pending until they create an account and they’ll be credited immediately they do. However, they have to create the account and register within 14 days. If they don’t, you get your money reversed. 

Does Zelle work in Nigeria? 

Unfortunately, Zelle isn’t officially available in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, the service is only available in the United States. It is not even available in Canada or any of the US territories like US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands

This means that you cannot officially make use of Zelle in Nigeria. Zelle needs a US phone number and US bank account for registration. Furthermore, you need a US bank debit card to be able to pay and send money. As a Nigerian living in Nigeria, you can’t get these. So what happens if you really need to use Zelle in Nigeria? Well, there’s only one thing you can do.

How to use Zelle in Nigeria 

The only way you can make use of Zelle from Nigeria is if you have someone in the United States where Zelle is available. They’ll need to open a Zelle account for you using their phone number and bank details and then they send you the login details. 

This might seem like a not-so-straightforward process but it’s the only way to use Zelle in Nigeria if you must. The only reason why you’ll want to use Zelle in Nigeria is if you reside in the US and you’re back in Nigeria for a short time. It’s totally fine, your Zelle account will work without issues in Nigeria.

If you’re in Nigeria and someone in the US wants to send you money via Zelle, simply tell them that you can’t make use of Zelle in Nigeria and that they should use an alternative. There are many of such alternatives and I’ll be discussing a few in the next chapter. 

I’ll advise against trying to bypass Zelle using a VPN or proxy. It’s not reliable because location isn’t the only problem you have. As mentioned earlier, you also need a US number and bank account with a credit card. Even if you manage to get all of this, you stand risk of losing your account the moment your connection drops.

Zelle Alternatives In Nigeria 

Since Zelle isn’t officially supported in Nigeria, here are top Zelle alternatives you can use instead; 


Payoneer is a popular online payment system and fortunately, it fully supports Nigeria. You can open a Payooner account with 100% Nigerian details including phone number, address, and bank account. You can link your bank account to your Payooner account so that whenever you receive money, you can easily withdraw. Payooner is available in the United States. So, if you want to revive money from someone in the US, the process is seamless. Like Zelle, to send money to you, the sender only needs your Payooner email address.


Already you should know MoneyGram. It’s one of the most used services for receiving money in Nigeria from other countries. Almost every commercial bank in Nigeria is a MoneyGram agent so you’ll find it very easy to pick up your money. The sender just needs your name exactly as it appears in any of your government issued ID, especially NIN, or your BVN. To receive money, you’ll have to show the government-issued ID or present your BVN at the bank along with your MTCN. Transfer is usually within a day, it’ll take 2 days. You can either take your money cash or in your bank account if you’re receiving it at your bank.

Western Union 

Last here is Western Union which is a money transfer service just like MoneyGram. Western Union is a lot more common in the United States and it’s very fast. Like with MoneyGram, you have to show the government-issued ID or present your BVN at the bank along with your MTCN. The name used by your sender also must be the same as it’s written in any of these identity documents. You can go to the bank to receive your money from Western Union in 24 hours after your sender has paid.

Bottom Line 

Zelle is an easy way to send money online but unfortunately, you can’t officially use it in Nigeria. The service is only available to residents in the United States. However, if you have a Zelle account in the US and then you come to Nigeria, you can use it. Otherwise, you’ll have to settle with any of the Zelle alternatives listed.