Starlink Recommends 2 Alternative Payment Channels for Nigerians to Order its Hardware – Starlink, the internet company owned by Elon Musk, has suggested two other payment options for Nigerians to purchase its hardware. The company has stated that individuals in Nigeria can utilize Payday or Barter, both of which enable users to generate virtual dollar cards and add funds to them using Naira. The suggestion might have been influenced by the fact that numerous Nigerians were unable to finalize their orders once they reached the payment stage.
As a result of the suspension of international transactions on naira cards, only individuals with dollar cards can settle payments for Starlink, even though the quoted price is in Naira. Despite Payday continuing to offer its service and utilizing Starlink’s operations in Nigeria to promote its service, Barter, a service provided by Flutterwave, was discontinued in July of last year. There are reports that Barter is poised to make a comeback.
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It is believed that Flutterwave’s decision to include Barter as one of the options could be due to the recent announcement that the service is being redeveloped to return with more strength and better performance. In an email dated 31st January, Flutterwave informed its customers of its plan to rebuild the platform to enhance its efficiency and user experience. According to the announcement, the product team is developing a new and improved version of Barter with enhanced features aimed at providing customers with a better experience.
Additionally, visiting the Barter website reveals a pop-up message stating that the service is currently undergoing a revamp. The message further suggests that customers cannot create an account at the moment, but they can join a waitlist to gain early access. Starlink made its official announcement of its presence in Nigeria in January of this year, but Nigerians have been pre-ordering its hardware since the previous year. The company initially quoted its prices in dollars, with the hardware priced at $600 and the subscription at $43.
However, upon its official announcement, the company began quoting its prices in naira. Despite the quoted prices in naira appearing to be lower than the dollar quotes at N268,584 for hardware and N19,260 for monthly subscriptions, Nigerians are paying significantly more because they are still being charged in dollars and have to obtain dollars at the black-market exchange rate to fund their cards.
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Despite the high costs and payment challenges associated with acquiring Starlink in Nigeria, a significant number of Nigerians have purchased the service and have been sharing their experiences on social media. Many of them have been impressed with the speed and reliability of the service. Most users have reported download speeds ranging from 50Mbps to 230Mbps, depending on their location. The availability of Starlink may potentially address some challenges faced by Nigerians by providing users with a high-speed, reliable internet connection.