10 + 1 Best Domiciliary Accounts in Nigeria (With Alternatives)

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Having a domiciliary account in Nigeria is becoming a dire necessity these days. This is due to the versatility of the online transactions you can do.

Also, the unpredictability of the exchange rate is enough to make you rethink your economic status. When you convert your naira savings to dollars, you will get the drift.

However, getting the best domiciliary account in Nigeria can be a challenge since there are a lot of options.

In this article, we will unravel everything else you need to know about opening the best domiciliary accounts in Nigeria.

We’ll also add some domiciliary account alternatives to receive money faster and easier.

Let’s cover some important basics first.

Domiciliary Account Types in Nigeria

A domiciliary account is a bank account that specifically allows you to make and receive payments in foreign currencies. Hence, all money in the account will be valued at the current naira exchange rate. There are three main types of domiciliary accounts you can open in Nigeria:

1. Personal domiciliary account:

This can either be a domiciliary current or savings account. This account is for personal use and is most popular among freelancers who earn in foreign currencies and online buyers.

2. Business domiciliary account:

As the name implies, this account is solely for businesses transacting in foreign currencies. You will need your Corporate Affairs Commission certificate (CAC) and other documents to open this type of account.

3. Forex trading:

If you own and operate a licensed BDC (Bureau de Change) or trade in forex, this account is for you. Some banks offer foreign exchange services to their customers at competitive exchange rates.

11 Banks to Open the Best Domiciliary Accounts in Nigeria

Here is a list of 11 banks in Nigeria to open the best domiciliary accounts easily:

1. Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB)

This popular retail bank is reputable as it offers one of the best internet banking services in the country. A GTB domicile account is available in three currencies: US dollars, British pounds, and euros. Some noteworthy benefits of owning a domiciliary savings account in GTB are:

  • You can deposit as little as $5 in your domiciliary account.
  • You have the option of cash withdrawals in foreign currency from any GTBank branch.
  • The account can still function with a zero balance.
  • You can link your card to your GTB domiciliary account for international transactions.

2. Zenith Bank

A Zenith Bank domiciliary account comes in two forms: an ordinary domiciliary account and a cash domiciliary account. The main difference is that you are not authorized to make transfers if you have a cash domiciliary account. However, you can enjoy other features.

3. First Bank

A First Bank domiciliary account allows you to save in US dollars, British pounds, euros, and CFA. A minimum opening balance of $100, £100, or €50 is assigned to each currency, respectively. As for CFA, the minimum opening balance is CFA10,000. Other account opening requirements remain the same.

4. United Bank for Africa (UBA)

UBA has a range of options when it comes to opening the best domiciliary account in Nigeria. There are three types of domiciliary accounts that you can open with this bank:

  • Freedom Dom account: This is the easiest to open due to the limited documentation required. All you need to do is provide your BVN, and your account will be opened.
  • Dom Advantage account: For this, you will need a valid means of identification and a passport photograph. This can be a national identity card, voter’s card, international passport, or driver’s license.
  • UBA Kiddies Domiciliary Account: This account is useful if you want to save tuition fees for your child’s future. You will need a valid means of identification from a parent. Other requirements include a passport photograph of both the child and parent and a public utility receipt from the parent.

 5.  Fidelity Bank

The requirements for opening a domiciliary account with Fidelity Bank are the same. The currencies are US dollars, British pounds, and euros, with an opening balance of $30, €30, and £20, respectively. You will also be able to access their online services after opening a domiciliary account.

 6.  Access Bank

 An Access Bank domiciliary account can be funded in pounds, dollars, euros, and yen. There are two types of domiciliary accounts that you can open at this bank. A domiciliary current account and a domiciliary savings account with different opening balances. You will also have access to banking services.

 7. Stanbic IBTC Bank

This is one of the banks where you can easily open the best domiciliary account in Nigeria once you meet the requirements. You have access to four currencies, which are pounds, US dollars, euros, and Australian dollars.

 8. Polaris Bank

This is one of the new generations of banks that has become a strong force in the banking industry. Here, you can open one of the best domiciliary account in Nigeria. You have the liberty of transacting in US dollars, British pounds, and euros.

 9. FCMB (First City Monument Bank)

 You can either open a domiciliary savings or a current account with this bank. The currencies available include dollars, pounds, and euros. There is no minimum operating balance. However, you will need an opening balance of 100 USD, 60 GBP, and 70 EUR for each domiciliary account.

 10. Union Bank

There are three types of domiciliary accounts you can open at this bank: domiciliary savings, domiciliary current, and UnionAce. The UnionAce account has the unique selling point of enabling you to earn 4% per year on your dollar deposits.

 11. Sterling Bank

 This bank offers a wide range of domiciliary accounts to meet your needs. You can open an inflow domestic account where you can receive foreign currency transfers. There is also a cash deposit domiciliary account where you can receive cash deposits in foreign currencies. This distinction will help facilitate transactions at a faster rate and seamlessly.

Requirements for Opening a Domiciliary Account in Nigeria

As aforementioned, the requirements for opening a domiciliary account at Nigerian banks are almost uniform. The main difference is the account opening balance and the variety of domiciliary accounts.

The general requirements for opening a dom account in Nigeria include:

  • Duly filled out and signed the account opening form
  • A valid means of identification (international passport, voter’s card, driver’s license, or national identity card)
  • Account opening balance (depending on the bank)
  • Passport photographs
  • Two completed reference forms from current account holders
  • Bank verification number (BVN)
  • Residence permit (for non-Nigerians)
  • Public utility receipt (within the last three months)

How to Open a Domiciliary Account in Nigeria

Now that you know the requirements for opening a domiciliary account, you can get started by:

  1. Fill out a domiciliary account opening form at any of the banks in Nigeria or online. If you’re a Nigerian living abroad legally, you can complete a diaspora account registration form.
  2. Provide the required documents listed above.
  3. There is the option of a joint nominee signatory. With this, you can choose a relative or close friend to be a signatory to the account.
  4. The referees (who filled out their details in the reference form) and other information provided will be verified. After this, your account will be opened and become fully operational.
  5. You can request a USD debit card during the account opening process. This depends on the type of domiciliary account you are opening.

People are also reading: 9 Cheapest Virtual Dollar Cards in Nigeria That Still Work

What to Consider Before Opening a Domiciliary Account in Nigeria

Before opening a domiciliary account in Nigeria, you should consider the following factors:

getting the best domicilary account in Nigeria

Ease of Accessibility:

Before choosing a bank to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria, you should consider how accessible the bank is to you. If you choose a bank where you need to travel before you find a branch, it might be disadvantageous to you. You should also confirm how efficient the bank is when it comes to dealing with foreign currencies.

Charges on foreign transactions:

Some banks charge high when it comes to foreign transactions. You should be well informed on this too.

Security of an internet banking app:

If you can’t rely on a banking app for local transactions, international transactions won’t likely be better.

Customer service:

Find out how responsive the bank’s customer service is. You can start with local transactions and ask someone who has a domiciliary account with them.

Type of domiciliary account:

The four domiciliary accounts you can open in Nigeria are pounds, yen, US dollars, and euros. Hence, consider the currencies your bank offers, the purpose of the account, and the currency you will be paid in.

Account opening procedure:

Most banks almost have the same requirements when it comes to opening a domiciliary account. However, some protocols, such as reference confirmation, can take a while, especially if you need the domiciliary account urgently.

Limitations on the Use of Domiciliary Accounts in Nigeria

Before now, there were a lot of stringent rules concerning the operation of domiciliary accounts in Nigeria. Presently, the main restriction is the use of cash deposits of not more than $10,000 per day sanctioned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

This means that there is more freedom and flexibility in using domiciliary accounts for foreign transactions in Nigeria.

Domiciliary Account Alternatives in Nigeria

If you can’t go through the stressful process of opening a dom account, you can opt for cross-border payment fintechs.

At Freelancespace and GorillaZap, most of our payments come through these payment companies. Some of the top options include:

You can also read our review on how to open a dollar account in Nigeria.

What Are the Domiciliary Account Charges?

The CBN places bank charges of $10 or 0.05%, whichever is lower, as the benchmark for banks on any kind of withdrawals from the users of domiciliary accounts. Realistically, banks differ in the charges and commissions they impose on their domiciliary account customers.

What you should know is that there are no fixed domiciliary account charges, despite the commission rate set by CBN. It is left for the banks to charge at their discretion.

Bottom Line

There you have it! All the information you need to open and operate the best domiciliary account in Nigeria have been carefully elucidated. If you do business internationally, a domiciliary account is your one-step solution to carrying out international transactions without hitches.

To avoid sad endings, having a domiciliary account with a commercial bank remains the best option for most people. The advantages of owning and operating a domiciliary account are endless. The choice is up to you to take advantage of its numerous benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Which bank in Nigeria is best for international transactions?

The best banks for international transactions in Nigeria are; GTB, First Bank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank and UBA. These banks are highly rated because of the ease in opening a domiciliary account and the banking services.

What Are the Disadvantages of Opening a Domiciliary Account in Nigeria?

You can only transact in one currency with a domiciliary account. Also, the account opening protocols can be tedious especially if you don’t have a naira current account.

How Much Can I Deposit in My Domiciliary Account in Nigeria?

You can deposit a maximum of $10,000 dollars per day in your domiciliary account. However, you are not limited to the number of transactions you can make.

Can I transfer from one domiciliary account to another in Nigeria?

Due to the new and relaxed CBN regulations, yes you can now transfer from one domiciliary account to another in Nigeria.

What Is the Charge for Getting a Dollar Card?

The card issuance fee differs depending on the bank. For instance, GTB charges the dollar equivalent of N1,000 for its dollar card.

How Reliable Are Domiciliary Accounts in Nigeria?

Domiciliary accounts in Nigeria are generally reliable. However, you still need to do some background investigation on the banking services before opening a domiciliary account.

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