There are times when we find the need to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria. And most times, it comes as a matter of urgency and we begin to wonder what to do to successfully open one. We wonder what the requirements are and the best bank to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria.
Luckily, this post will explain how to open a domiciliary bank account in Nigeria with some of the most popular banks in Nigeria. In this post, we will cover how to open a dom account with GTBank, First Bank, and Zenith bank.
However, let’s first understand what a domiciliary account means and its purpose.
What is a domiciliary account?
A Domiciliary account in Nigeria is a bank account that is opened for the purpose of transacting in US dollars or any other foreign currency. With a domiciliary account, you can save money in US Dollars, Euro, Pounds, or any other foreign currency and your money is valued at the current exchange rate. This account can be funded via bank deposits, lodgement of foreign currency checks, etc.
Why would you ever need a domiciliary account in Nigeria?
For an average Nigerian, who does all his business locally and has no business with the outside world, there will be no need to ever consider opening a domiciliary account. However, you will see the need to open a domiciliary account if you –
- School abroad
- Buy goods and services abroad
- Pay for goods and services that are priced in USD online
- Need to transfer money abroad
- Invest in foreign stocks and securities, etc.
Is Opening a Domiciliary Account The Only Way to Transact In USD?
No. There are many other ways to send and receive money in US dollars such as using PayPal, Western Union, Payoneer, etc. However, a domiciliary account is controlled by its opening bank and regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria. So you can be assured of your fund’s safety.
In this regard, it is clear that the dominant and recognized way of transacting in foreign currency in Nigeria is through a domiciliary account.
How to Fund Your Domiciliary Account In Nigeria
Before we go into the requirement to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria, let’s take a look at how a domiciliary account is funded in Nigeria.
#1. Bank Deposit
A domiciliary account in Nigeria is usually funded via direct bank deposits using bank tellers. The process involved is that you buy the dollars from an “Aboki” in the black market. You will get them at the black market price which is usually higher than the bank rate. Then you take the cash to your bank, collect the foreign currency deposit teller and fill it as you would when you are depositing Naira in the bank.
The bank will usually check each cash to make sure that it is not fake. Also bear in mind that they don’t collect torn foreign currency notes or even one that has been marked with pen or paint. The foreign currency has to be clean. Also bear in mind that they don’t accept dollar notes that are printed before 2013. You must make sure that your dollar notes are 2013 or newer.
#2. Bank Transfers
You can transfer money into a domiciliary account just the way you transfer money to people in naira. However, this has to be done via internet banking and usually in the FX section. Each banking interface is different, but you can figure it out as long as you can do the normal Naira transfer.
#3. Lodgement Of Cheques
There are times when some international companies pay you via cheque and send it to you via postal mail to Nigeria. To clear the cheque, you will need to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria. This is so that you can deposit the money into your domiciliary account.
If you don’t do that, the bank will pay you in Nigerian naira using their bank rate which means you lose out on selling at the black market rate which will earn you more money. And yes, there are black market sellers that buy the money in the domiciliary account. If you don’t know any trusted dealer, it’s best to sell to the bank to avoid had I known.
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#4. International Bank Transfers
If you work for a company or business abroad and chose to be paid via bank transfers, they will be able to deposit into your domiciliary account if you provide them with your SWIFT code and bank details. International bank transfers usually come between 3 to 7 working days. They are not as fast as transfers made between local domiciliary accounts in Nigeria.
What are the Benefits Of Having A Domiciliary Account In Nigeria?
The following are some of the benefits of having a domiciliary account in Nigeria.
1. Receive Foreign Currency Directly to Your Account
Let’s say you want to receive money in foreign currency and you only have a naira account. That would be totally impossible. And a lot of Nigerians who work online and get paid in dollars definitely need a domiciliary bank account.
Although there are many ways to receive money in dollars as an online worker, you will still at some point need to open a domiciliary bank account.
2. Make Payments In Foreign Currency
If you are a blogger, for instance, you might have a need to pay for web hosting or buy a plugin, which you can no longer do with your Naira Mastercard. You will only be able to make payments with your dollar card and a Dollar card will only be issued to those who have a domiciliary account in Nigeria.
Even if you want to make the payments with PayPal, you will still need to connect your MasterCard to PayPal. As you know, PayPal does not accept Nigerian debit MasterCards. However, it does accept the Nigerian dollar Card which is only issued to those who have a domiciliary account in Nigeria.
3. Save in Foreign Currency
With a domiciliary account in Nigeria, you can be able to save your money in foreign currency. Your money will be valued according to the current exchange rate.
4. Control over Unstable Currency
It is not news that the Naira has fluctuated over the years and even more sporadically during the Buhari administration. As an importer or someone who makes purchases in foreign currency, you can fund your account with enough money so that you won’t have to worry about future fluctuations.
Types of domiciliary account
There are 3 major types of domiciliary accounts in Nigeria
- A Domiciliary Savings account. This can be opened and managed as a personal savings account. The Domiciliary savings account can be used to save Dollars, Euros, or Pounds. You can use the account to send or receive foreign currency internationally.
- The Domiciliary Current account. This account is used to receive salaries in foreign currency. It can be denominated either in Pounds, Euros, or Dollars. You can also send and receive international funds from it.
- Corporate Domiciliary account. A foreign currency account that is open to corporate entities and can be used for business purposes. This account is typically used for business purposes.
How To Open A Domiciliary Account In Nigeria
Many Nigerian banks offer domiciliary account services. These banks include Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Firstbank of Nigeria, UBA, Zenith Bank, and others. However, in this post, we will be looking at what it takes to open a domiciliary bank account in GTbank, Zenith, and First bank.
So if you’re interested in opening a Nigerian domiciliary bank account in any of these banks, here are the steps to follow. (Don’t worry, the requirements are similar throughout other banks in Nigeria).
Requirements to Open a Domiciliary Account In GTBank
The requirements for opening a domiciliary account in Nigeria are similar to those of a current account holder. In fact, if you already have a current account with the bank, the process will be a whole lot easier for you.
So what are the requirements to open a domiciliary account in GTBank? They are:
- An ID card. This can be either a driver’s license, international passport, or national ID card.
- 2 passport photos: Two recent passport photos will be required.
- Utility bill. You will need to bring a photocopy of your recent NEPA bill that was issued no later than 3 months ago. This is usually used to verify your location.
- 2 Referees: You must bring two referees or have them complete the referee forms. Bothe referees must have either a current account or a domiciliary account in GTBank preferably. They also accept referees with a current account from other banks, however, it will take a longer time for your account to be opened due to interbank verifications. As such, they always prefer that you provide current account holders with GTBank.
- A small amount of money is required to activate the account: You will have deposit at least 20 dollars to activate your domiciliary account. This is the cheapest you can find in Nigeria as many other banks require a minimum of 100 dollars. I opened mine with GTBank with only $30 and the money was still there for me to use. The bank doesn’t take a dime from it. However, for your dollar card to be issued, you will pay 5000 Naira or its equivalent.
How to open a domiciliary account at Gtbank
Once you have met the above requirements, take the following steps to open the domiciliary bank account.
- Visit any GTbank branch near you.
- Contact their customer service desk to request a domiciliary account.
- If you have an account with them, let them know if it is savings or current. If they don’t have one, they will open one (current or saving) along with your domiciliary account. PS: If you already have a current account with them, you will not need to provide 2 referees again.
- You will then be provided with a form to open a domiciliary account and two reference forms that you and your referee must complete.
- Submit the filled-out forms – both yours and those of your referees after you have properly filled them. You don’t need to fill it inside the bank, you can take it to your referees and bring it back when they are through. Your two referees must be GTbank current account holders if the process will go through within 48 hrs. If they are current account holders from other banks, it can still be opened but it will take a longer timeframe.
- You will be asked to return home after you have submitted the forms.
- They will send you an SMS within 48 hours to inform you that your domiciliary accounts have been opened with your account number.
- Please, after you have received the SMS, go back to the bank to deposit about $20 to activate your new domiciliary accounts. After your deposit, you can then request for your dollar MasterCard.
That is all the steps you will take to open a domiciliary account with GTBank.
If you are ready, you can begin to initiate the opening of the domiciliary account right now, start the account opening process online before going to the bank. This will save you time, effort, and stress.
Requirements to Open A Domiciliary Account With Zenith Bank
Zenith Bank is one of the leading banks in Nigeria and also well recognized globally. Little wonder, that they also offer domiciliary accounts services.
Zenith bank makes opening a domiciliary bank easy, especially if you already have a Zenith current, or savings account that you have had for at least six months.
Just as with GTBank, you will be required to bring your ID card, 2 recent passport photographs, NEPA bill, 2 current or domiciliary account holders, and as at the time of writing this, they no longer require you to make a deposit to open an ordinary domiciliary account in Nigeria.
How to Open a Domiciliary Account with Zenith bank in Nigeria
Once you meet the requirement listed above, follow these steps to open a domiciliary account with Zenith bank.
- Visit any Zenith branch near you.
- Ask to meet their customer service representatives to open a domiciliary bank account.
- You will be given a domiciliary account opening form, and two referee forms.
- Fill your forms correctly and take the ones for your referees to fill.
- Return the completely filled-out form to the bank.
- They will then check the form for any errors and ask you to sign.
- They will notify you by SMS within 48-72 hours of verification.
Requirements to open a domiciliary account in FirstBank of Nigeria
These are the things you should know are required before you open a domiciliary account at Firstbank of Nigeria.
- Minimum opening deposit required: $500, EUR500, or PS300. You can withdraw money from the account after you have left a balance of $100, EUR100 or PS50. It attracts a 0.5% commission.
- Cash withdrawals from cash inflows or funds transfers (credits) will attract a 1% Commission
- Two (2) satisfactory and independent references (for checking account only).
- Two (2) passport photos must be taken within the last two (2) years.
- Utility Bill Address Verification Document Required – PHCN Bill, Telephone Bill, or Sanitary Bill; any one of these documents can be used.
- Valid ID such as Driving licence, International passport, or national Identity card
- Non-Nigerians can come with their Resident permit.
How to open a domiciliary bank account with Firstbank of Nigeria
Once you have completed the above, you can open a domiciliary account at Firstbank by taking the following steps:
- Visit any Firstbank of Nigeria near you
- Go to their customer care and tell them you want to open a domiciliary account.
- They might ask you if you have had a savings or current account with them in the past. If you don’t have one, they will open one along with the domiciliary account.
- You will be given the account opening forms to fill as well as a specimen signature card and forms for 2 referees.
- Submit every form once completed.
- You will be asked to return home after you have completed the forms.
- You will receive an SMS within 48-72hours indicating that your domiciliary accounts have been opened with your account.
- Pay the minimum deposit at the bank to activate your account.
If you want to initiate the opening of the domiciliary account in First Bank right now, download the Individual Account Opening Form online. Complete the Account Opening Form and specimen signature card and submit at the nearest FirstBank branch. This will help you save a lot of time and stress.
Opening a domiciliary account in Nigeria is simple. The only issue some people face is that of getting 2 referees. Every other requirement is what you can easily provide. Many people shy away from it because they have heard that you need a minimum of hundreds of dollars to open one but with GTBank, that is not the case. You can open one with as low as $20 and still get access to it anytime – it’s your money, not the banks. Besides, Zenith bank has recently announced that you don’t need to even make a deposit to open an ordinary domiciliary account. This means that it has become even easier to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria.
An alternative to a Domiciliary Account in Nigeria is a Payoneer Account. A Payoneer account makes you own a US or UK bank account legitimately here in Nigeria. They also give you a US Mastercard for free. Learn More about how to open a Payoneer Account.
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