Domiciliary account currencies

How to Open a Domiciliary Account in Nigeria

by Esther Onyeije

If there’s one complaint I’ve heard times without number from Nigerian freelancers, business owners, or anyone who engages in international trade, receives payments in foreign currency, or makes payments in foreign currency, it’s how difficult it is to transact in these foreign currencies. Some have lost clients, jobs, and even their pay due to these problems.

Now what’s the solution to these Upsetting problems Nigerians face?

A Domiciliary Account!

You’ve probably heard of domiciliary accounts and how it allows you as an individual, business owner, or freelancer to hold and transact in foreign currencies. However, there are some things you must know before opening one, especially if you need to become more familiar with the process. 

This article will provide you with everything you need to know about domiciliary accounts in Nigeria, from the opening process to important decisions you need to make to give you the best experience with it. Let’s dive in!

What is a Domiciliary Account? 

A Domiciliary Account is a type of bank account that has different denominations in foreign currencies. These accounts differ from your regular savings or current account as they are denominated in foreign currencies like US dollars, British pound sterling, Euros, and many others.

It allows you to send and receive money in foreign currencies without converting it to naira. Nigeria commercial banks offer domiciliary accounts, although the Central Bank of Nigeria sets certain regulations you must remember.

Who Can Open a Domiciliary Account in Nigeria?

For you to be eligible to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria, there are certain criteria you need to meet. These criteria differ from bank to bank depending on CBN’s requirement for that bank.

Generally, if you are a resident of Nigeria, you will need valid identification documents, and you need to have deposit money in other foreign currencies to be eligible for one.  It is important to check with the bank you choose to use for their exact criteria to avoid being rejected or making a mistake.

Documents Needed to Open a Domiciliary Account

Before opening a domiciliary account in Nigeria, you must have documents. However, they might differ a bit from bank to bank, and these are the general documents you need to provide.

  1. Proof of identification documents

To be eligible to open a domiciliary account, you’ll need to have a valid means of identification. This could be a valid Nigerian passport or a valid international/foreign passport – supported by proof of Nigerian origin (Birth certificate, expired/valid Nigerian passport or driver’s license, etc.)

Read Also: How to Get an International Passport in Nigeria

These documents would be used as proof that the information you’ve provided is valid and that you are truly a resident of the country.

  1. Filled and signed the domiciliary account opening form

The bank you choose to open your account will provide you with a form that you are expected to fill out. In this form, you are required to provide personal information such as your name, contact details, address, etc.

  1. Proof of address 

Your bank will require a copy of your recent electricity, water bill, credit/bank statement, or any bill that can serve as proof of your residential address issued within the last three months.  

  1. Two recent passport photograph

You’ll need to provide two recent passport-sized photographs to be attached to your form.

  1. Letter of recommendation

Some banks may need you to provide a reference letter or letter of recommendation from someone of reputation. It could either be an independent reference letter obtained from current foreign bankers or a signed reference form by an attester of Nigerian origin who maintains a current account with a Nigerian bank.

  1. Valid residential permit

Some banks may need you to provide a valid residential permit if you are not a Nigerian citizen. This permit shows that you have legal rights to stay in the country.

Note that these documents may differ according to different banks. Before opening your account, it is important to research what each bank requires.

  1. A minimum deposit 

Some banks require a minimum deposit, usually in US dollars, before activating your account. Depending on the commercial bank where you want to open the account, your deposit might vary from $50 – $150.

How to Open a Domiciliary Account in Nigeria 

Now that you know the documents you need to open a domiciliary account, here are the processes you need to follow:

  1. Select your bank

There are many commercial banks in Nigeria where one can open one. The benefits these banks offer differ; it’s vital to make your comparison before making your choice. Some of these banks include;

    • First Bank: This is Nigeria’s oldest and most respected bank. The first bank allows customers to open an account as long as they meet their requirements.
    • Zenith Bank: Zenith is one of the biggest banks in Nigeria. One can start a new/ordinary domiciliary account in Zenith without money. They offer two kinds of Dom accounts Convectional and Cash Dom.
    • United Bank of Africa:  United Bank of Africa is one of the top banks in Africa. They allow customers to open Domiciliary accounts and carry out foreign transactions easily.
    • Guaranteed Trust Bank: This bank allows both Nigerian residents and Non-Nigerian residents to open a domiciliary account, although the requirements differ for both.
    • Union Bank of Nigeria: UBA is a top bank in Nigeria. They offer four different types of Domiciliary accounts – Dom Advantage, Freedom Dom, and U-care plus Dom accounts.
    • Fidelity Bank: Bank makes it easy to open a domiciliary account without any hassle. This reputable bank offers you a MasterCard debit card for transactions.
    • Access Bank: This is another trustworthy bank that allows its customers to open a domiciliary; they allow third-party transactions and direct debit.
    • First City Monument Bank (FCMB): The First City Monument Bank is another bank where you can open a domiciliary account. Instead of a MasterCard, FCMB provides you with a Visa debit card for transactions.
    • Stanbic IBTC Bank
    • Polaris Bank: Polaris Bank’s domiciliary account allows customers to open an account in several currencies like US dollars, Euros, and Pounds Sterling. As long as you meet their requirements, foreign transactions become easy for you.

Read Also: Top Banks in Nigeria for Entrepreneurs

  1. Request for a domiciliary account opening form

Once you’ve chosen the bank you want to use to open your Dom account, the next step is to request an account opening form from the bank you chose. You can get this form from the bank’s customer service section.

  1. Fill out the domiciliary account opening form

You’ll be required to fill in some important details like your name, address, contact details, email address, and other personal information.

  1. Submit the required documents

You’ll need to provide all the required documents the bank asks for. Documents may differ from banks. The general documents you need have been listed above.

  1. Visit the bank

 To ensure that you have no issues in your account opening processes, you’ll need to visit the branch of the bank you’ve selected with the necessary documents.

  1. Submit the completed form

After completing the form and documents requested, please submit them to the bank’s customer service desk or other points that have been designated for submission. 

  1. Pay the account activation fee

After your application has been reviewed and verified, you’ll need to fund the account before you can use it to carry out foreign currency transactions. Once the account has been activated, you can start making use of it to carry out foreign transactions.

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Benefits of Having a Domiciliary Account

Many benefits come with opening a domiciliary account, these benefits include:

  1. Easy and convenient transactions

 Having a domiciliary account allows you to receive and send international transactions easily. It allows you to conduct transactions and manage your finances in foreign currencies like US dollars, Euros, or pounds from home. They are also helpful for receiving payments for freelance work done or paying for food or services you rendered to foreign clients.

  1. Easy fund management

Opening a domiciliary account is a great way to manage payments in foreign currencies. The account gives you access to your funds when you need them.

  1. Easy currency conversions

A domiciliary account helps you make your foreign to naira conversions easily. You can also avoid extra charges when you receive or send money in foreign currencies, especially for people that deal in several currencies.

  1. Increases your creditworthiness 

Having it improves your worth among institutions and lenders as it shows that you are trustworthy with foreigners.

  1. Savings account

A domiciliary account can serve as a savings account, especially for parents with children abroad. This helps them to save money for long-term purposes; the good thing is that the money does not depreciate even if the naira does.

  1. Online banking

Having a domiciliary account gives you access to make use and pay for several premium online features like email, mobile banking, debit cards, etc.

Conclusion

The process of opening your domiciliary account is an easy and important one. If you are willing to carry out a foreign transaction, then having a domiciliary account is a great way of doing that. Hopefully, this article has helped you through the processes involved and will do a lot to help you avoid mistakes.

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About Author

Avatar of Esther Onyeije
Esther Onyeije
Esther Onyeije is a freelance content writer who specializes in writing Blog posts, Articles, and social media posts for blogs and websites.
She uses her background in writing to provide solutions to the pain points of your target audience and create clear and accessible content that makes challenging topics easy for any reader.

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