7 July 2014

How To Open and Verify Your Paypal Account in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe and Other Countries


It is no longer news that Paypal now accepts and processes applications from Nigeria and other countries in Africa (Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe), Eastern Europe (Belarus, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Monaco) and Latin America (Paraguay). This article details how to open and verify your PayPal account.


With a PayPal account, you can send and receive money worldwide in a very secure manner and at very comparably low fees. Although send-only transactions are currently allowed in the regions mentioned above, stake-holders in these regions see this as a very positive initial step.

Steps To Open Your PayPal Account

To open a PayPal account, follow the steps outlined below:

1). Go to https://www.paypal.com

2). Click on the "Sign Up for Free" link on the center of the page, OR on the blue-colored "Sign Up" link button on the top right of the page.

3). On the "Sign Up With PayPal" page that opens up, select your country from the "Your Country or Region" drop-down menu provided.
  • click on "Open an Account" for Individual account (if you will only buy and sell online); Or
  • click on "Open an Account" for Business account (if you are a merchant)
NOTE: At the moment, individual type accounts can only send money out to buy from merchants outside the regions mentioned above. The merchant type accounts are currently not yet available for merchants in these regions. These will likely change in the near future.

4). On the "Enter Your Information" page that opens up, fill in your details including a valid email address that has never been used on Paypal before. Click the yellow-colored "Agree and Create Account" button. If a security challenge comes up, type in the characters shown in the image and click "Continue".

5). On the next page that comes up, a prompt for your card details appear. Enter your card number, the expiry date and the 3 CVV digits at the back of your card in the spaces provided. Ensure the billing address matches the address on the bank account associated with your card.

Click "Continue" to create your PayPal account. Congrats! You now have a PayPal account. Easy, wasn't it?

Do note however that your new account is still unverified. You will need to verify your newly created PayPal account thus:
  1. verify the email address you signed up with in PayPal; and
  2. verify the (credit or debit) card whose details you have just submitted.
One major advantage of account verification is that your limits are raised. See below text and images for details.

Steps To Verify Your PayPal Account

Verify Your Email Address

Upon creating your new account (step 5 above), PayPal sent a message to the email address you signed up with. You will need to verify that you own this email address thus:

1). Sign into the email account you have just registered with PayPal

2). Look for the email message sent from PayPal. If you do not see it, check in your "Spam Folder". When you find the message, open it and click on the verification link inside it. This opens up a new page.

3). The page that opens up confirms your email address is verified and your PayPal account is active. You may sign into your now active PayPal account to verify your card details.

Verify Your Debit or Credit Card

1). Now, log into your PayPal account, and click the 'Get Verified" link or the "Link and confirm credit or debit card" link located on the top right sidebar

2). A new page opens up to confirm your card for verification. You will see the card type, the last four digits of the card and the billing address displayed. If correct, click on "Continue" to proceed.

3). Now, PayPal will charge the card $1.95 to confirm your ownership (see image 1 below). Note that this money will be refunded back to you within 24 hours after you successfully confirm ownership of the card. To confirm ownership, you must provide PayPal with a unique 4-digit code it will send to you.
Image 1 - PayPal Code Confirmation
4). Within few hours, you will receive an SMS or email debit alert from your bank with the unique 4-digit code inserted. If you are using a naira card, the statement will be in the following format:
The Naira equivalent of USD1.95 has been authorized for the transaction done on PP*1234CODE 0123456789LU
PayPal's unique code is the "1234" part of the message after the * sign and before the "CODE" (shown in the quoted text above); and it is this unique code that is associated with the PayPal charge on your card. Copy it down and go to step 5 below.

5). Now that you have the unique 4-digit PayPal code, log back in to your PayPal account and click "Confirm my debit or credit card" located on the top right sidebar. On the page that opens up, enter the 4-digit code you copied into the space provided and click the yellow-colored "Confirm Card" button (see image 1 above).

If you are successful and PayPal accepts your submission, a confirmation page comes up as shown below.

Image 2 - PayPal card verification
That's all. Your Paypal account is now active and verified. And PayPal will refund your money within 24 hours. When it is refunded, you will get a message in the following format:
POS merchant refund -1.95 USD PP*1234CODE
If you have doubts about your verification status, log into your PayPal account to check that the "Status" link reads "Verified". You find it after the "Account Type" on the homepage immediately you log in.

What Next?

So, you now have an active, verified PayPal account; what next? There are several things you can do with your account; however for people into whose countries the company has just extended its service, you can only use it to make payments (i.e. "send-only) on merchant sites outside your region that accepts PayPal. This may be changed in the near future.

You do not need to worry about funding your new account to make payments, because each time you use your new account to make payments, the verified card (credit or debit) on your account is automatically charged.

Please note that I used a Naira Mastercard (which is a naira-denominated mastercard-based international debit card) to verify my account; but you can practically use any card, whether debit or credit and whether Visa-based or Mastercard-based, from any bank in Nigeria or any of the other countries mentioned above to verify your account. Just visit your local bank, if you do not yet have such a card, to request for one.

So, pass the message across all your social channels to inform all your friends and enemies alike. Cheers!

Related: The Reality of Paypal's Expansion - Good or Bad News for ECommerce?


  1. "So, pass the message across all your social channels to inform all your friends and enemies alike."

    LOL...ikenna sef, you too funny! Even my enemies? My enemies too?? LOL

    1. Nice to see you in that mood, my friend! Thanks for dropping by.

  2. Do you think anyone can compete with paypal? How can one differentiate themself from paypal while offering the same services? Any ideas?

    1. Hello @Peter, I will answer you with your own words. Do you think MasterCard can compete with Visa? How can MasterCard differentiate themself from Visa while offering the same services? If you have any ideas on this one, then you have all the answers you want from me.

  3. Ikenna, what services does a payment system need to offer, in order to compete against paypal?