Banking

5 Best Banks in Nigeria to Open Your Domiciliary Account Today

Are you looking for the best banks to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria today, minimum opening and operating balance, and requirements needed?

If YES, this is the only article to read today.

Getting started…

What is a Domiciliary Account?

A domiciliary account is a type of current account that allows you to carry out your business transactions using foreign currencies, such as dollars, pounds, or euros.

You can use a domiciliary account to transfer money to another country or receive foreign currency from another country.

It takes about 48 to 72 hours to activate a domiciliary account.

As soon as your account is active, you can start receiving and withdrawing foreign currencies like the US dollar.

You cannot deposit Naira into a domiciliary account.

In Nigeria, you can only fund, transfer, and withdraw foreign currencies, such as dollars, from your domiciliary account.

Depending on your bank, you could be charged a fee for this.

All you need to do is to fill out the bank form and enter all the details of the account you want to fund, transfer or withdraw the money to.

One benefit of having a domiciliary account in Nigeria is the fact that you won’t be affected by the under $20 monthly spending limit that has been inflicted on normal Naira Debit Accounts and it also allows you to earn more and also allows you to purchase anywhere online with your bank card.

In compliance with regulatory directives from the Central Bank of Nigeria, banks in Nigeria have issued a notice to customers on the limit of transactions to domiciliary accounts.

Customers are to comply with a daily limit of $10,000 deposit either by inflow or cash deposit and a monthly cumulative of $20,000 (cash deposit) into their domiciliary accounts.

Domiciliary Account Advantages

  • You can receive direct foreign currencies.
  • You can pay for international transactions.
  • It gives you more control over unstable currencies.
  • You can serve as a referee for someone.

Domiciliary Account Disadvantages

  • You are restricted to one type of currency per account.
  • It is difficult to get referees as most people use a savings account. The few with current account use it for salaries and banks do not accept salary accounts.
  • Because of the scarcity of dollars in the country, you may need to go to the parallel market to source for dollars to fund your domiciliary account. This often comes at a high exchange rate.
  • You will need to pay an annual account maintenance fee on your domiciliary account.
  • Your bank will also charge you an annual card maintenance fee.
  • Each time you withdraw cash from your domiciliary account across the counter for one reason or the other, your bank charges you a withdrawal fee.

Can I receive money with a different currency to my savings account?

Some banks can allow you to use your savings account to receive payments or money from a different country.

If your bank offers this, then it is pretty easier than going through the stress of opening a domiciliary account, though using a domiciliary account gives you better flexibility over your money and more profit than using your local currency savings account.

All you need to do is to give your savings account to the person.

Once the money is deposited, no matter the currency used, it will be converted to Naira using the official bank rates.

The exchange rates may also depend on your bank.

In Nigeria, when the Naira was fixed at ₦415 to a dollar, it means that when the money is sent to your savings account, it will be converted at ₦415 to one dollar; if you received 100 dollars, it means then that your bank will convert it to ₦41,500 (Forty-One Thousand, Five Hundred Naira).

The banks will always want to make a profit from your money.

This is the reason you need a domiciliary account.

Dollar Debit Card

A dollar debit card is a debit card that does transactions in dollar instead of Naira.

It is the dollar equivalent of a Naira debit card.

While the Naira debit card transactions are done in Naira, the dollar debit card transactions are done in dollars.

A Naira debit card is attached to your savings account or current account; but the dollar debit card is attached to your domiciliary account (a foreign currency account).

You cannot withdraw dollars from Nigerian ATMs.

The limits on international transactions using Naira debit cards had been cut down from $100 (about ₦50,000) to $20 (around ₦10,000) per month.

Best Ways to Fund Your Domiciliary Account in Nigeria

1. Deposit (Physical Cash)

The popular currencies accepted to be deposited in a domiciliary account are Dollar, Pounds and Euros.

You can either go to the bank, make the dollar deposit yourself, or someone else makes the deposit on your behalf.

If you are wondering how to get Dollar in cash when the local currency is Naira, you can change from bureau de change i.e., the guys/men changing money in your locality.

The bureau de change is just an office that buys dollars from you and gives you Naira in exchange or they can sell dollars to you and you give them Naira in exchange.

What they basically do is to change whatever currency you need, whether from local currency to foreign or from foreign currency to local.

Once you have the total amount of funds you want to send into your domiciliary account ready, now walk into one branch of the bank you opened your domiciliary account, then pick up a deposit slip and fill in the details of your domiciliary account and the total amount you want to send in.

The money will be sent and converted into your domiciliary account.

2. Direct Transfer

If you are into any online business, you can use your domiciliary account to receive funds in foreign currencies.

If you got people abroad, they can also fund your domiciliary account via a wire transfer.

3. Money Transfer Companies

This is the method most people use in funding their domiciliary account and this involves Western Union, MoneyGram or WorldRemit.

To fund your domiciliary account in Nigeria via MoneyGram, Western Union and WorldRemit, you’ll need to have the following details at hand:

  • Your Beneficiary Name
  • Your Beneficiary Account Number
  • Your Beneficiary Bank Name
  • Bank Swift Code

When funding your domiciliary account from outside the country, always make sure you have all the accurate information about your account and your bank name.

Depending on the method of transfer used, your domiciliary account will be credited with the corresponding amount of foreign currency within the stipulated time for the method of payment used.

Payments through wire transfer from the United States could take two or three working days to reflect in your dollar domiciliary account, starting from the day the money was sent.

Please note that Saturdays and Sundays are not working days and are not included.

Public holidays are also not included.

This means that if the money was sent on Wednesday, while Thursday and Friday be public holiday, you will not receive the money until Tuesday or Wednesday.

5 Best Domiciliary Accounts in Nigeria

These are the best domiciliary accounts in Nigeria to open today.

5. FCMB

FCMB Domiciliary Account

FCMB Foreign Currency Accounts are an array of foreign currency denominated accounts with benefits such as currency flexibility, convenience and ease in account operations.

The product array comprises a foreign currency savings, current and fixed deposit account.

The foreign currency accounts totally protect you from exchange rate fluctuations and offer you very attractive interest rates on your funds.

The Foreign Currency accounts are available in three convertible currencies: United States Dollar (USD), Great Britain Pounds Sterling (GBP) and European Euro (EUR).

Relatively low account opening balance of:

  • Savings: USD10.00 or its equivalent in other currencies
  • Current: USD100.00 or its equivalent in other currencies
  • Fixed Deposit: USD5,000.00 or its equivalent in other currencies

No minimum operating balance is required to operate the Foreign Currency Accounts.

Offers attractive interest rate payments.

Flexibility to exchange foreign currencies and to transfer or move funds easily from your foreign currency account to your Naira accounts.

Allows for foreign currency salary payments and the lodgment of foreign currency clearing instruments and traveler’s cheques for clearing.

No charges for cash withdrawals from the foreign currency savings account.

Offers foreign currency telegraphic inbound and outbound transfers, and issuing foreign currency denominated drafts on the current account variant.

Only outbound transfers are allowed on the foreign currency savings account.

Attractive fixed deposit rates for 30, 60, 90, 180 and 360-day foreign currency fixed deposits.

On the Fixed Deposit Accounts, there is no penal charge for premature liquidation after 30 days.

However, the applicable rate will be based on the duration of the foreign currency deposit.

FCMB Pre-Funded MasterCard Credit Card, which can be used on all ATMs, POS terminals and Web Merchants with the MasterCard logo.

The FCMB pre-funded MasterCard offers you:

  • International access to funds
  • Ease and convenience in Foreign Currency payments
  • Allows you carry your special moments with you
  • Embedded with a passport picture for enhanced security
  • Helps you control your foreign currency spend

Offers the option of a personalized Cheque-Book in either USD, GBP or Euro, for Over-The-Counter and third-party foreign Currency transactions, at a minimal cost.

Account can be operated either as an individual or a joint account.

FCMB Foreign Currency Accounts Benefits

  • Individuals who want to hedge against adverse fluctuations in exchange rates and minimize the exchange risk.
  • Individuals with funds in foreign currency who desire to earn competitive interest payments and require the flexibility for withdrawals at will, without a penal charge.
  • Individuals who require the ease and flexibility to cross currencies between the USD, GBP and Euro.
  • Expatriates with residence or work permits that earn in Foreign Currency and require the flexibility and convenience to save, transfer or transact on their funds.

4. Zenith Bank

Zenith Bank

Zenith Bank has two domiciliary accounts for customers – Ordinary Domiciliary Account and Cash Domiciliary Account.

Zenith Bank domiciliary accounts give you the opportunity to conveniently carry out foreign transactions wherever you may be.

With access to debit cards, internet banking, and mobile banking application, your transfers, payments, standing orders can be done without you walking into the banking halls.

Features and Benefits

  • Internet Banking
  • Debit Card (USD)
  • Mobile Banking
  • Email/SMS Alerts
  • Standing Orders
  • USD, GBP and EUR

Requirements

  • Account opening form (existing account holders with full documentation only require a written letter or completion of the account opening form without the provision of any other documentation).
  • One passport photograph of authorized signatories.
  • Valid ID (Driver’s License, International Passport, National Identity Card or Voter’s Identity Card).
  • Public Utility Receipt dated within the last three months.
  • Visitation Report (Residence).

3. First Bank

FirstBank Domiciliary Account in Nigeria

First Bank has two domiciliary accounts for customers.

Domiciliary Account

First Bank primary domiciliary account allows you save in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling or Euro.

Your money will be valued at the prevailing exchange rate.

It facilitates your international business transactions.

On this account, there are no restrictions to number of withdrawals.

Individuals, SMEs and corporate organizations can operate this account.

To apply, download the domiciliary account form, complete the form and submit at the nearest FirstBank branch.

Features

  • Minimum opening balance of $500, €500 or £300
  • Minimum operating balance of $100, €100, or £50
  • No limit to number of withdrawals in a month
  • Cash withdrawal is at 0.5% flat per transaction
  • Inter sol transactions (account owner only) are allowed
  • Guaranteed FCY deposit
  • Attractive pool for interest on bank fund
  • No restrictions on the number of withdrawals
  • Inter sol withdrawal (account holder only) allowed

Required Documents

  • Duly completed Account Opening Form
  • Duly completed specimen signature card
  • Two (2) recent passport photographs
  • Address verification document: Utility Bill
  • Valid means of identification, e.g., international passport, driver’s license or National ID card.

FirstDom Plus Account

This foreign currency deposit account is targeted at existing and potential domiciliary customers with balances of $5,000 and above.

Individuals and corporates can operate this account.

To apply, download the individual account opening form, complete the form and submit at the nearest FirstBank branch.

Features

  • Account is operated with a specialized non-clearing cheque book.
  • Foreign draft issuance is allowed on the account.
  • No charges on over-the-counter cash withdrawals.
  • Transfer charges on account as low as 0.25% flat.

Account Interest Rate

Applicable interest rates are based on deposit buckets:

  • $5,000 – $9,999 at 0.50% per annum
  • $10,000 – $49,999 at 0.75% per annum
  • $50,000 – $99,999 at 1.00% per annum
  • $100,000 – Above at 2.00% per annum

Required Documents

  • Individual Account Opening Form
  • Completed Specimen Signature card
  • Two recent passport photographs
  • Valid means of identification, e.g., International Passport, Driver’s License or National I.D. Card (Original to be sighted).
  • Utility Bill, e.g., NEPA, NITEL Bill, etc.
Feature FirstDom Account Domiciliary Account
Minimum Opening Balance $5,000, €5,000 or £3,000 $500, €500 or £300
Minimum Operating Balance $5,000, €5,000 or £3,000 $500, €500 or £300
Online Banking/ATM YES YES
Free Cheque Book Specialized non-clearing cheque book Specialized non-clearing cheque book
Withdrawal Limits No Limits No Limits

2. United Bank for Africa

United Bank for Africa

UBA domiciliary account is useful when travelling or sending money to relatives abroad and also enables customers to be paid in any foreign currency.

Freedom Dom Account

This UBA domiciliary savings account is built to receive foreign remittances, with no limits, directly into your account.

Account benefits, features and requirements:

  • Easy documentation requirements. Only BVN needed.
  • Zero balance account opening.
  • You will upgrade your account as soon as they exceed a debit turnover limit of $2,000.
  • This account does not allow the use of cards.
  • This is a zero-interest paying account.
  • Customers can only access their cash through in-branch cash withdrawals.
  • Free access to check account balances via the Mobile App and the Internet banking platform.
  • Receive foreign currency and Telex inflows directly into your account.
  • No withdrawal charges.

Dom Advantage Account

Dom Advantage is a current or savings domiciliary account denominated in foreign currency – US Dollar, Pound Sterling, EURO etc., but operated by in Nigeria as Domiciliary Account.

Account benefits, features and requirements:

  • Minimum opening balance of $100, €80 or ₤ 70 or its equivalent in other currencies.
  • Foreign cheques/instruments can be credited to the account.
  • Account can be used as a channel for investments in securities and real estate in home and abroad.
  • Valid Identification (International Passport, Driver’s License, National ID card, Voter’s card) and two passport photographs needed for account opening.
  • Interest payable on account.
  • Credit balance is subject to a minimum balance of $1,000 or its equivalent.

UBA Kiddies Domiciliary Account

The UBA Kiddies Domiciliary Account is an FCY account denominated in USD, GBP, and EURO meant for parents who want to save for children’s secondary/tertiary education abroad.

Requirements

  • Valid Identification of Parent/Guardian
  • Two Passport photographs of Child and Parent
  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Utility bill of the parent/guardian
  • BVN of the parent/guardian

Fees/Charges

  • Withdrawals: 0.5% + VAT on amount withdrawn.
  • Telex Transfer: 0.5% +VAT or US$10 or its equivalent whichever one is higher + Communication charge of US$25 or Euro 20 or £15.
  • Draft request: 0.5% +VAT or US$10 or its equivalent whichever one is higher + communication charge of US$25 or Euro 20 or £15.

Terms and Conditions

  • Opening balance of $100 or £70 or its equivalent.
  • Minimum operating balance of £350 or its equivalent.
  • Interest Rate of 0.1% payable on the credit balance.

1. Guaranty Trust Bank

GTBank Domiciliary Account

Presently, GTBank is the best bank in Nigeria to open a dollar account and has no minimum opening balance.

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

Available in US Dollar, British Pounds and Euros, you can fund your account via traveler’s cheques, foreign currency cheque lodgments and cash inflows and deposits.

From the comfort of your home, office or anywhere in the world, you can withdraw cash or make transfers or payments to suppliers offshore.

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

Requirements

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

Best Banks for Domiciliary Account Opening in Nigeria

  • GTBank
  • United Bank for Africa
  • First Bank
  • Zenith Bank
  • FCMB

These are the factors used in ranking the best banks for domiciliary account opening in Nigeria:

  • Reputation
  • Experience
  • Communication
  • Monthly Fees
  • Minimum Requirements
  • Transaction Limits
  • ATM Charges
  • Mobile and Internet Banking
  • Security

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Final Words

Owning a domiciliary account with a Nigerian bank is not an option again, it’s a necessity for someone that wants to manage and protect the value of cash in his/her disposal.

Choosing the right domiciliary account in Nigeria can be difficult because of the various competing options available in the market. That’s why this post was written for you.

Once your domiciliary account is opened, you can then start using it.

The account number will be sent to your email or your telephone number.

After getting the account number, you can then give it out to the person who will send money to you abroad with some additional details.

If it is a dollar account, the money will be sent in dollars.

This means that the person sending you the money must send it in dollars.

Once you receive your alert, you can go to your bank and withdraw the dollars by filling your foreign currencies withdrawal slip.

The dollars will be given to you and then you can change it to your local currency (which is Naira in Nigeria) at the bureau de change.

Hope you enjoyed this article?

If you have questions, comment below.

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Saint Chinedu

My GOAL is to equip you with the right strategy and working information to improve academically, financially and also achieve a healthy lifestyle this year.

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