Table of contents
- African countries where you can receive PayPal
- Countries where you can only send PayPal
- Countries where you can neither send nor receive
- How to check how much you can do on PayPal in your country?
- PayPal alternatives to explore
Individuals in the 55 African countries are usually unclear if they can make and receive PayPal payments in their country. It’s not helpful that PayPal itself doesn’t make it easy to find out.
While you can send PayPal from about all the countries now (except 7, which we list last) , receiving PayPal payments is still quite restricted. Receive PayPal is really important for individuals in business and companies, especially for payments made in the EU, North America, and other regions.
The lists were last updated in January 2021.
African countries where you can receive PayPal
- South Africa
Countries where you can only send PayPal
- Burkina Faso
- Cabo Verde
- Côte d’Ivoire
- DR Congo
- Sao Tome & Principe
- Sierra Leone
Countries where you can neither send nor receive
- South Sudan
- Equatorial Guinea
- Central African Republic
How to check how much you can do on PayPal in your country?
Checking what PayPal features are available in your country
- Go to https://www.paypal.com/en/webapps/mpp/country-worldwide where you will see a huge list of countries
- Click on the name of the country you want to check to open a new page. We clicked on Zimbabwe for this demonstration.
If the country you’re checking can only send payments, as is the case with Zimbabwe, you will just see the “Personal” heading and, further down the page, information about using PayPal as a buyer.
- Assuming you can send and receive
If, however, the country you’re checking can both send and receive payments, as is the case with Mozambique below, you will see more options – “Personal, Business, Partners and Developers”
PayPal alternatives to explore
While PayPal is still by far the most dominant internet payments platform globally, and therefore hard to go around if you want to receive payments, there are still some alternatives to explore. It’s important to note however those possibilities depend on your needs, what’s possible in your country.
One issue with these alternatives is that it limits the flexibility on the part of the party making the payment to you and sometimes that party may just tell you they are unable to use that alternative.
We list here the most prominent services Africans have been known to resort to.
Paystack is by far the largest payments company in Africa (outside South Africa), made for African businesses. It’s a trusted Nigerian company and, since October last year, is now part of a larger US company called Stripe.
Explore Paystack here: paystack.com
Stripe has risen in the past few years to challenge PayPal globally and will be the best alternative for a lot of individuals and businesses. In October last year, it acquired a Nigerian payments company, Paystack, effectively making it available in Nigeria and other African countries.
Paysera is a Lithuanian payments company launched in 2004 which now offers payments globally.
According to the company, it now offers internet payments solutions in at least 33 African countries including, however thee exclude, Nigeria, Ghana, Botswana, Uganda, Zimbabwe, DRC, Somalia, and the Sudans . Full list here: https://www.paysera.com/v2/en/faq/where-paysera-works
Also referred to as TTs for short, but also called Bank Wire Transfers this old and extremely expensive way of using banks to make payments across borders still works with a lot of businesses globally. Indeed, many will be happy to find you have this alternative.
However, in a few regions (EU for example and the US) the paying business may complain that regulations (sanctions of perceived risk by their government) do not allow them to send TTs to certain countries.
In addition, while this is a convenient method for businesses to make payment, individuals looking to pay you will find it cumbersome as their bank will require some paperwork – definitely not as easy as clicking a few PayPal buttons.
Lastly, wire transfer payments are known to take some 4 working days to clear. Also, it is an expensive workaround as banks can take as much as US $40 of the amount you’re being paid.
This method of going around PayPal means you will accept cryptocurrencies as payment. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Etherum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and so forth. Of course, this depends a lot on your target market and if they are able to use cryptocurrencies to pay you. Another downside is that once you have Bitcoin, you will need to final a local buyer in your country who will exchange your Bitcoin for cash.