How to Open a Dollar Account for Entrepreneurs in Nigeria

by Samuel Princess Oghenekeno

“How can I open a dollar account as a Nigerian Entrepreneur?

Have you ever asked or googled that question? Have you struggled to create a dollar account as an entrepreneur in Nigeria? Or you may feel overwhelmed by the requirements and how much time you would have to spend. It’s okay because you are not alone. 

Since the recent changes by the central bank of Nigeria concerning receiving and sending foreign currencies in December 2020, many entrepreneurs need clarification about carrying out their international transactions.

It doesn’t have to be so because contrary to the thoughts of many, it is easy. There are various options to explore; no, you don’t have to leave Nigeria to open a dollar account.

Some options do not even require you to leave the comfort of your home. Distance should never be a barrier to your financial transactions.

This article will walk you through the process of dollar account opening in Nigeria and suggest the best banks and virtual applications to make the process easy!

What is a Dollar Account?

A dollar or domiciliary account is a bank account you open in Nigeria that lets you transfer and receive foreign currencies. This type of account will only receive money in foreign currency like dollars, euros, or pounds but not in Naira. 

It differs from other existing varieties of accounts because it’s mainly for business (and personal transactions) instead of savings. 

However, it is possible to have a domiciliary savings account.

Why Should You Open a Dollar Account as a Nigerian?

Since the central bank of Nigeria decided that every international payment would enter the country in USD, many questions have arisen. Receiving US dollars means your money can be converted to Naira before the withdrawal. 

Many people still need clarification and wonder about the importance of this change in transaction style and how to go about their international transactions without a headache. The easiest way to navigate this change is by opening a dollar account. Why? Read to know!

Importance of Opening a Dollar Account

  1. It Protects you from naira exchange rate

Unlike the Nigerian Currency (Naira), which experiences inflation often, the US dollar is very stable. The naira currency is becoming less valuable over time, and the limit for purchase of things from abroad with a Nigerian bank account is low, giving you less power to buy something. Savings or spending your money in dollars protects you from these trends.

  1. It lets you save in dollars

Domiciliary accounts are also helpful in saving foreign currency, especially for parents who want to save money for their children’s education abroad. 

If you travel abroad frequently, keeping in dollars provides cost benefits because it has a higher purchasing value to buy more products when changed to Naira.

  1. You can stand as a referee for someone

One of the requirements for a dollar account opening in Nigeria is a referee. A referee introduces a prospective customer to a bank and testifies to their character and ability to hold a current version.

A referee can only be someone who already has an existing account.

Since a domiciliary account is a current account, as a person who owns one, you can stand as a referee for a trusted person. You will also need somebody or more than one person (depending on the bank) to stand as a referee for you while opening yours.

The following listed above, amongst others, is the importance of dollar account opening in Nigeria. However, as they say, there’s a con for every pro. It takes work to get referees for a dollar account in Nigeria. 

Secondly, you can only receive money in one currency depending on the kind of domiciliary account you open. If you open a domiciliary account for dollars, you will only receive, transfer, withdraw, and make payments in dollars. 

Commercial Banks That Offer Domiciliary Account Opening Services

You can open a domiciliary account in any licensed commercial bank in Nigeria. Almost all commercial banks in Nigeria offer the domiciliary account opening service; however, some stand out in terms of operating the service. 

They are ranked high because of the quality and speed of service and benefits for users of the domiciliary account. These banks are;

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  1. First bank

First Bank, also recognized as the first commercial bank of Nigeria, offers a domiciliary account service, aside from its comprehensive coverage, to enable its users to carry out international transactions easily.

Features

  1. Minimum opening/ operating balance – $100, €100, £50, CFA10,000.00
  2. Attractive interest rate.
  3. No restrictions on the number of withdrawals.
  4. Interbank and intrabank transfers are allowed.
  5. Cash withdrawal in foreign currency from any FirstBank branch.
  6. 24/7 Banking services via our various e-channels.

Requirements

  1. Duly completed Account Opening Form
  2. Duly completed specimen signature card
  3. Recent passport photograph
  4. Proof of Address: Utility Bill within the last three months
  5. Valid means of identification, e.g., International Passport, Driver’s license, National ID card, Voter’s ID etc.
  6. Two satisfactory references

Who can apply?

Individuals, SMEs, and Corporate organizations can apply.

How to open a dollar account in Nigeria with first bank

  1. Visit the First bank Website and choose the forms option on the menu
  2. Download the Domiciliary Account Form
  3. Complete the form and submit it at the nearest FirstBank branchdollar account
  1. Guaranty trust bank (GTB) 

The Guaranty Trust Bank Domiciliary Account allows customers to operate accounts in foreign currencies.

You can fund these accounts through traveler’s cheques, lodgement of foreign currency cheques, cash inflows, and cash deposits. 

Customers can withdraw cash or make offshore transfers and payments to suppliers and clients.

Read Also: How to Improve and Manage Personal Finance as a Nigerian

Features

  1. Cash withdrawals in foreign currency from any GTBank branch.
  2. 24/7 Banking services via various e-channels.
  3. Transfer funds in foreign currency to other bank’s domiciliary accounts in Nigeria and abroad.

Requirements

  1. It is filled and signed the Domiciliary Account opening form
  2. A copy of the identification document (Driver’s License, International passport, National I.D Card, or any other acceptable by the bank)
  3. One passport photograph
  4. Two (2) completed reference forms
  5. Utility bill issued within the last three months

Who can apply

  1. Individuals
  2. Small or Medium enterprises
  3. corporate organizations can operate this account

How to open a dollar account in Nigeria with guaranty trust bank

  1. Visit the GTB website 
  2. Choose the account opening option from the menu
  3. Click on ‘Open a New Account.’
  4. Choose the type of account you want open (Domiciliary.)
  5. Fill in your details in the form and submit.
  6. Activate at your bank.
  1. United bank for Africa (UBA)

United bank for Africa is one of the numerous banks you can use to open and operate a dollar account in Nigeria successfully. It offers a variety of domiciliary account types to suit your needs. They are:

Types of UBA domiciliary accounts

  1. Dom Advantage
  2. Dom Advantage Plus
  3. Freedom Dom
  4. U-Care Plus domiciliary accounts
  5. The Dom Advantage is recommended if you want a regular domiciliary account for your transactions. The rest options are explained on the website.

Features

  1. Cash withdrawals in foreign currency from any UBA branch.
  2. 24/7 Banking services via various e-channels.
  3. Transfer funds in foreign currency to other bank’s domiciliary accounts in Nigeria and abroad.
  4. Zero fees for withdrawal and transfer.
  5. Bank statements and SMS notifications are both available.

Requirements

  1. Valid Identification. It could be an international passport, Driver’s License, National ID card, or Voters Card.
  2. Two Passport Photograph
  3. BVN
  4. Referee (Must be a current account holder.)

Who can apply

Individuals, Small or Medium enterprises, and Corporate organizations can operate this account.

How to open a dollar account in Nigeria with united bank for africa

  1. Visit the UBA website
  2. Choose the type of account you want.
  3. Click on Open Account.
  4. Fill the form
  1. Union bank 

The fourth bank option recommended for opening a dollar account in Nigeria is union bank. Union bank domiciliary allows customers to bank in these three global currencies: Dollars, Euros, and pounds. 

Features

  1. Account opening balance of $50 or its equivalent in Pounds and Euros
  2. Up to 1% interest per annum (interest will be forfeited when the withdrawal is more than four times in a month)
  3. 0.05% is charged on cash withdrawals (maybe change to – Discounted charges on cash withdrawals.

    Read Also: Why You Should Consider Investment in Nigeria

Requirements

  1. Two passport photographs
  2. Valid means of identification: international passport or Driver’s license/National Identity card
  3. Current Utility bill (not more than three months old) or signed tenancy agreement
  4. BVN
  5. CIU Form

Who can apply

Individuals, Small or Medium enterprises, and Corporate organizations can operate this account.

How to Open a Dollar Account in Nigeria with Union Bank 

  1. Visit the union bank website
  2. Click on “Account” on the menu
  3. Click on domiciliary accounts
  4. Click on “account opening form” just below the brief description
  5. Fill out the form and upload the required documents
  6. Send the completed form to customerservice@unionbankng.com
  1. Fidelity bank

Fidelity bank is another great option for dollar account opening in Nigeria. This is because of their excellent customer service as well as their affordability. Because of this, it is ranked best amongst the banks that offer domiciliary account services in Nigeria.

Features

  1. Minimum account operating balance of $30, €30, £20
  2. Attractive interest rates on-call/demand and fixed deposits
  3. Access to Internet banking, email transaction alerts, and statements
  4. Option of a Nominee Resident Joint Signatory in Nigeria (e.g., sibling, partner, parent, etc.)
  5. Standing orders
  6. Investment facilitation services for shares traded on NSE
  7. Draft issuance in foreign currency 
  8. It provides information on interest rates, among other things

    Subscribe to our YouTube channel to learn more about business investments in Nigeria and profitable approaches.

Requirements

  1. A registration forms
  2. A valid ID card (National Identification Card, voter’s card, or another kind of identification that the bank accepts)
  3. Passport photograph (at least two.)
  4. Bills for utilities
  5. Indicate your residence

Who can apply

Individuals, Small or Medium enterprises, and corporate organizations can operate this account.

How to open a dollar account in Nigeria with fidelity bank

  1. On the website’s top menu, click on account opening
  2. Choose domiciliary account
  3. Fill the form
  4. Wait for the mail or SMS with the next step.

The banks listed above are not the only ones offering domiciliary account services. If they have the domiciliary account service, you can ask customer care in any other bank you prefer or have been banking with. 

Also, it might be overwhelming to go through these processes online, especially if you lack a suitable device (and cannot use a public one as it concerns finance) or are not too accustomed to the ‘online stuff.’ If that is the case with you, you can physically go to the bank to complete the process.

Now that you know how to open a dollar account in Nigeria, the next question is, how does the dollar account work? Can you operate like your regular bank account? 

When you withdraw the dollar, how do you change it? If these questions, amongst the many other questions about dollar account opening in Nigeria, bugs you, continue reading to get clarity.

How Does the Dollar Account Work

Once you have opened your domiciliary account in any bank of your choice with the above steps, you can start using it. 

You will receive your account details through the contact information you provided — usually your phone number or email. 

After getting your account details, you can now send them (required details, not sensitive ones) to the person who wants to send you money. 

You will receive the money in any currency it was sent in. If your money were sent in dollars, you would receive and withdraw it in dollars. 

You can start by filling out the foreign currency withdrawal slip in your bank, then exchange it for Naira at the ‘bureau de change.’ The ‘bureau de change’ is an office that exchanges foreign currency, your local currency, which is Naira in this case.

Conclusion

International transactions have been made accessible through domiciliary account opening services in Nigerian banks. 

However, some people still need to figure out how to open a dollar account in Nigeria and why they should. This article has given step-by-step procedures and recommendations for the best banks to carry out the process quickly.

In addition, international transactions can be carried out with trusted online banking services like PayPal, Payoneer, Scrim, and Flutter wave $end, among others. You can also try those options.

When international transactions matter, dollar account opening in Nigeria matters too. It is no longer a choice but a necessity because receiving any other currency in your naira bank account is impossible.

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About Author

Samuel Princess Oghenekeno
Samuel Princess Oghenekeno
Samuel Princess Oghenekeno is an experienced content and creative writer. She optimizes content with excellent data structure, relevant keywords, and with other important SEO strategies that drive good organic traffic to your website. She is also a social media manager and personal development and mental health advocate.

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