Best providers for sending money from the UK to Nigeria in 2022 (Remitly, Azimo WorldRemit, Western Union, TransferGo)

If you’re a Nigerian living in the diaspora, chances are you have had reason to send money to Nigeria at least once. The UK is one of the favourite destinations for economic Nigerian migrants. The colonial history between both countries means that the UK is often considered the first choice for Nigerians looking to relocate outside the country.

Once in the UK, Nigerians in the diaspora are often dutiful about sending money back home to their relatives and loved ones. In 2017, people in the UK sent over $4 billion to Nigeria, making it the second most popular remittance source just behind the US.

Despite so much being sent between both Nigeria and the UK, remittance still remains a hurdle. And with over 20 providers promising the best rates for transactions, it can often be hard to find the best deal.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the top providers for sending money from the UK to Nigeria based on a number of factors. Here are the factors:

  • Exchange Rate: the exchange rate is often a significant factor when choosing a provider because it determines how much value the person at the receiving end is getting. However, when it comes to sending money from the UK to Nigeria, it can be challenging to know who has the best naira rates. This is because the CBN has mandated all MTOs to only payout remittance transactions in US Dollars. That said, you can use Zazuu to check how much the recipient will receive in dollars.
  • Payment Options: The more payment options a provider offers, the easier it is for users to make a transaction, as it allows you to make a choice. There are three common payment options: bank transfer, credit/debit card, and cheque. Most providers will allow you to make payments at least two of the three.
  • Pickup options: A significant part of the remittance experience is how the recipient picks up the funds. As with payment options, having more pickup channels allows recipients to get their funds in the most convenient way. There are three common pickup options: cash, bank transfer, and card. All providers allow at least one of the pickup options.
  • Bank Partners: Following the CBN’s 2020 directive, cash payments have become the most common way for MTOs to send money from the UK to Nigeria. These MTOs often partner with banks to facilitate these cash transactions. However, the number of bank partners varies from one MTO to another. Having more bank partners is a great thing for the recipient as limited partners can mean the recipient has to travel hours to get their money. 

Now, we proceed to pick the best providers for sending money to Nigeria. 

Best provider for sending from the UK to Nigeria: WorldRemit

WorldRemit constantly comes out top in our Zazuu Compare transactions between Nigeria and the UK due to their great rates and customer experience. The London-based company is one of the most popular providers for people looking to send money from the UK, and for good reason too.

For transactions to Nigeria, WorldRemit promises a maximum transaction timeline of 10 minutes for cash pickups and 1 hour for bank transfers, making it one of the fastest providers in that regard. WorldRemit also has great coverage for cash pickups with partnerships with all the tier-1 commercial Nigerian banks and some tier-2 banks. 

Payment Options: Bank Transfer, Card, Apple Pay

Pickup Options: Cash and Bank Transfer

Bank partners: Access Bank, FCMB, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, GT Bank, Polaris Bank, Union Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Zenith Bank

Best runner up provider for sending from the UK to Nigeria: Azimo

Amsterdam-based Azimo is another popular way to send money to Nigeria. The money transfer operator offers some of the best value for money for people looking to send money from the UK and Nigeria. This is often evident in how high it ranks on the Zazuu Compare rankings.

While Azimo provides great service compared to many other providers, it doesn’t have a lot of bank partners for cash pickup options in Nigeria. This means that if your recipient prefers a cash pickup, they might have to travel long distances to get it. 

Payment Options: Bank Transfer, Card

Pickup Options: Cash and Bank Transfer

Bank partners: FCMB, Fidelity Bank, Zenith Bank

Best provider for first-time sender sending from the UK to Nigeria: Remitly

If you’re a first-time sender, Remitly is a great option to go with. The US-based company often gives preferential rates and waives fees for the first few transactions a user undertakes. In addition, the Remitly platform has a smooth customer experience which is an add-on for anyone who isn’t used to the traditional rigor of money transfer providers.

The company also has a significant number of bank partners active in Nigeria where your recipient can pick up their cash.

Payment Options: Cash and Bank Transfer

Pickup Options: Cash and Bank Transfer

Bank Partners: GTBank, FCMB, First Bank, Polaris Bank, Fidelity, Union Bank, Access Bank, Ecobank.

Best provider for cash pickup from the UK to Nigeria: Western Union

Being an old player in the remittance ecosystem, Western Union has over the years developed deep networks that make it the king of cash pickups in Nigeria. The company boasts over 4000 agents within the country from which the recipient can pick up cash. If you’re sending cash from the UK to Nigeria, Western Union is your best bet.

Western Union agents can be found at most bank branches across the country, making it easy for recipients to swap their foreign currency for naira at the cash-pickup points.

Payment Options: Cash and Bank Transfer

Pickup Options: Cash and Bank Transfer

Bank Partners: All local Nigerian Banks

Best provider for sending money from the UK to Nigeria (Card): TransferGo

Although TransferGo is not always ranked highest in the Zazuu Compare rankings, its rates are not very far off from the best. However, the company’s biggest selling proposition is the unique way it allows users receive funds.

TransferGo is the only money transfer operator that provides card transfers as a pickup option on the list. This means that with TransferGo, you can send money to the USD and NGN cards of your recipients. Transactions on TransferGo will typically be delivered the next day, but for a small fee, you can reduce transaction time to 30 minutes. 

Payment Options: Bank Transfer, Cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay

Pickup Options: Card

Bank Partners: None

Conclusion

Choice overload is a phenomenon that occurs when people have too many options to choose from when faced with a decision. The sheer number of options available for people sending money from the UK to Nigeria can often be a source of choice overload. Considering that rates and terms of service also change with time, it can be even more difficult to pick the right money transfer operator for your transaction.

However, with Zazuu, the choice is simpler. Zazuu compares the top money transfer providers to help you find the best deal on the market. Always use Zazuu to compare rates before making any transfer to ensure you’re getting the best deal for you.