How to open a domiciliary bank account in Nigeria

Nigerian domiciliary accounts

Domiciliary accounts are the answer for individuals and businesses who want to make bank transactions in currencies other than the local one. Continue reading to discover more, including:

  • The meaning of domiciliary bank accounts.
  • How to open one in Nigeria.
  • The benefits of domiciliary accounts.

How to open a domiciliary bank account in Nigeria

If you need to send and receive payments in foreign currencies, you’ll need a domiciliary account. Also known as dom accounts, they’re just like regular current accounts, except that you can accept and transfer money in currencies such as pound sterling and dollars. 

One drawback is that you can only have one currency per account. So for bank accounts held in two or more currencies, you’ll need a multi-currency account.

You can, however, withdraw money from your domiciliary account and exchange it for another currency at the bank. Sometimes, you’ll have access to special exchange rates or ones close to the mid-market exchange rate.

Benefits of domiciliary accounts

When the Central Bank of Nigeria banned naira transfers to Nigeria, applications for dom accounts skyrocketed. Even before the ban, domiciliary accounts were increasing in popularity. That’s because they’re an excellent way of protecting your money from volatile currency fluctuations. Additionally, domiciliary accounts are great for: 

  • Receiving money from abroad. 
  • Transferring funds overseas.
  • Getting special interest rates on savings.
  • Carrying out international and online transactions. 

If you’re sending money to Nigeria, you should check out the Naira 4 Dollar scheme. For every dollar you send, your recipient will get a five naira bonus.

How to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria

Typically, you’ll only need to have an existing naira account with the bank you’ve chosen. Then, you’ll need to submit your documents which are likely to include:  

  • A completed application form.
  • A passport, permanent voters’ card, National ID card, or a driver’s license.
  • A resident permit. 
  • A recent (three months or less) utility bill.
  • Two passport photographs.
  • Two referees to sign the reference forms. They should both be bank account holders, preferably with the same bank.

It’s worth noting that you’ll usually need to submit your documents in person at a bank branch. This helps both speed up your application and confirm your identity.   

Best Nigerian banks for domiciliary accounts

The best Nigerian domiciliary account depends on what features you need. While handling foreign currencies are their primary function, you’ll need to consider other factors, including:

  • Transaction limits.
  • Minimum balances.
  • Cash withdrawal limits and/or fees.

Unsurprisingly, most of Nigeria’s oldest banking institutions offer domiciliary accounts. They include:

  • Zenith Bank. 
  • Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank).
  • First Bank of Nigeria.
  • United Bank for Africa (UBA). 
  • Fidelity Bank Nigeria.
  • Access Bank.
  • Union Bank of Nigeria.
  • First City Monument Bank (FCMB).

And if you’re a fan of digital banks, brands like One Bank offer dom accounts too.

Download the Azimo app on iOS or Android and enjoy Azimo’s market-leading rates and low, transparent fee on international money transfers.