It can be convenient to use a Nigerian debit or credit card to make online purchases, but if your card was issued in naira, it may be challenging to use it for transactions with foreign service providers like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, or Spotify. Either these platforms won’t accept your card, or your bank may have set a limit of $20 per month on your ability to make international transactions.
As the CBN has worked to contain the nation’s growing inflation since 2022, more Nigerian banks have either cut the transaction limit for overseas transactions or closed them entirely. However, substitutes, in particular virtual dollar cards, have appeared as a result of the necessity for overseas payment methods among many Nigerians. Here are some of these possibilities.
Disclaimer: The choices on this list are all suggestions, not endorsements. Make careful to investigate all of them before utilizing any of them.
1. Kuda Bank Virtual Dollar Card
Because Kuda Bank offers one of the greatest mobile banking experiences in Nigeria, locals favor the bank. Kuda offers more than just a virtual card service; it also gives eligible and interested customers free actual debit cards and low-interest loans. The greatest thing is that you won’t be charged for your first virtual Kuda Visa Card, so you may use it to pay online anywhere that accepts naira Visa cards.
The card currently only functions on websites that accept naira; it does not function on AliExpress. Although they are working on introducing international transactions, we’ll let you know as soon as it’s available.
ALAT, a fintech division of Wema Bank, is sometimes touted to as Nigeria’s first totally digital bank. Over 700,000 of ALAT’s clients have access to a completely digital banking experience thanks to its 2017 founding.
Users of ALAT may open a new account and have access to loans and an automatic savings platform in less than five minutes. Additionally, a variety of cards are available for both domestic and foreign transactions. Its customers may pay for services on overseas websites and subscribe to services like YouTube using its dollar credit card and virtual dollar cards.
3. Chipper Cash
As one of the few unicorns in Africa, Chipper Cash was established in 2014 by Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujaled. Users of Chipper Cash may use the virtual Visa card to make purchases on websites like Amazon or to pay for foreign subscriptions. You need a Chipper Cash account before you can get a virtual card. A form of identification, such as a passport or national identification card, would also be required.
A few months after it began operations, the finance firm Payday revealed in 2021 that it had closed a pre-seed round of $1 million. Africans may send and receive money both inside and outside of the continent thanks to the self-described Pan-African business.
Its customers may receive payments like locals wherever they are by offering virtual accounts with addresses in nations like the United Kingdom and the United States. Users may also set up a virtual dollar Mastercard that gives them access to up to $25,000 in monthly spending power. The card may be obtained without cost, however users must be validated.
5. Barter by Flutterwave Virtual Dollar Card
The Barter app, developed by Nigerian payment firm Flutterwave, enables you to send and receive money instantaneously. Barter lets you send and receive money internationally, but you can also load it with money from your bank account, credit card, or mobile money account to use it as a digital wallet.
With a few restrictions, such as purchases of cryptocurrencies, online trading, betting websites, or money transfer services, you may establish a virtual dollar card once you have money in your account and use it to make online payments on most websites. To establish a virtual card, you must have at least $5 in your account. Each virtual card costs $2, with a $1 monthly charge. You may put up to $10,000 in it.
Many Nigerians have resorted to using cryptocurrency to get around the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) restrictions on the amount they may trade. For this reason, the cryptocurrency business Bitmama created Changera in 2021.
Users of Changera may use the virtual dollar card to make online purchases. Money transfers, currency conversion, and a virtual bank account are further services. Changera has a freemium business model for its cards, in contrast to the other choices on this list. Users have a choice between a free plan, a freelancer plan priced at $50 per year, and a premium plan priced at $100 per year. Virtual cards can be created by users of the free plan, however virtual accounts in USD, GBP, CAD, or EUR can only be created by users of the freelancer or premium plan.
Over the past five years, the number of Nigerians living in Nigeria and working for organizations outside of the continent has skyrocketed. But even if getting these gigs has gotten simpler, getting paid hasn’t always been simpler. Even with more possibilities, it’s still difficult to get money from outside the continent.
A Raenest product aimed towards gig workers in Africa is called Geegpay. Gig workers may create invoices and receive payments using Geegpay. They also get a virtual dollar card and a USD account. The $2 dollar card can only be obtained when a user has successfully completed the sign-up and verification procedures. You’ll need to supply information like your job offer, occupation, employer information, and proof of address and identity, so make sure you have them on hand.