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In 2002, when e-Bay, an American multinational internet consumer-to-consumer corporation, headquartered in San Jose, California acquired PayPal for a staggering $1.5 billion; it marked the beginning of an epic scale frustration for millions of Nigerians who legitimately wanted to complete a transaction on the internet that has the PayPal logo on it.
Unfortunately, Nigeria seems to have earned itself a disconfirming reputation of internet fraud. While this can be legitimately debated, in reality, Nigerian internet scammers do not constitute the majority of the population, just an infinitesimal minority. I know you can argue, you are wrong, I love you but you are wrong. I have my reservation and I believe it is wrong to stereotype the majority of a population based on the unscrupulous and nefarious activities of a minority just has PayPal continues to do.
I have tried to come to terms with reality, but each time, the reasons why PayPal won’t serve Nigerians completely fails to make any sense in my mind. There can be no justification from hindering millions of innocent internet user’s residing in Nigeria from transactions online. PayPal makes the issue of security a very big deal against Nigeria when they have the best crop of robots and humans, who are experts in detecting frauds. Nigeria doesn’t have the biggest internet security threat records and I don’t need a soothsayer to tell me where the biggest security challenges comes from. Yet, PayPal enjoys intimacy with them.
Nigeria has the biggest internet users in Africa and a lot of payment processors have found ways to cut the excesses as it relates to fraud but PayPal has thus far been reluctant in overhauling its system and policies to accommodate more legitimate internet users. Africa countries like Togo, Mali, Chad, Enritrea and over 30 others have PayPal support but Nigeria has been branded a “rejected stone.”
The frustration level on my part is high, I can recall vividly how I begged a friend of mine in the United States to help pay for some services required on this blog which was only possible via PayPal and I have simply walked away from some good offers because my clients insists on paying with PayPal. I even saw a hashtag Twitter campaign #PayPalNigeria directed towards PayPal, to at least give Nigeria a second thought, but should we continue to plead that PayPal accepts Nigeria? No! Certainly not. We can adapt and we have equally learned to develop a healthy disrespect for any company who won’t spend an extra effort in making their system uncomfortable for fraudsters.
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In the case no one has informed PayPal, the internet fraud level in Nigeria which was orchestrated by harsh economic conditions has reduced drastically, everyone has gotten better and I believe PayPal’s security system is more sophisticated than before to handle frauds of colossal proportion but if PayPal continues to think Nigeria doesn’t deserve a spot in their good books, then one has to rationally put to the question, the effectiveness of PayPal’s glorified security system, if the world’s largest payment processor continues to get scared by a harmless nation Nigeria.
We WON!!! Seven months ago when we published this article, I was really frustrated like many other millions of Nigerians. Little did we know that PayPay was hearing our voices but this couldn’t have been possible without the magnanimous efforts of CreativityKills who created the never-again-to-be-duplicated online petition that dramatically changed the mind of PayPal. Concerned blogs like Geek.NG, TechCabal and OscarMini also have their footprints on this incredible achievement that has sent shock-waves throughout the Nigerian webspace.
It is thanks to everyone who signed the petition, who shared it on social media and all those who have contributed in one way or the other. Indeed, the WAR is over!
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Last Updated June 17th, 2014.