Domiciliary account in Nigeria is the only way to save money in foreign currency other than the Nigeria naira. With the limit imposed on the naira debit card, the need to have a domiciliary account in Nigeria is on the increase especially those that buy products online.
Aside from that, the major reason why people opt to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria is because of the big difference between the Nigeria naira, the US USD, Euro and the British Pounds.
Using your naira savings account to receive inflow or funds from abroad is nothing to write home about compared to going to the black market to make an exchange.
How will you feel when the bank exchange $1k per N411 and which you will receive N411,000 at the end of the day compared to the black market $1k per N567, which gives you a whopping N567,000.
At the end of the day you will find yourself losing N156,000 t8 the bank.
That’s crazy I must say.
Now that naira debit card is limited to just a maximum of $200 – $300 spending limit, the need to have a domiciliary account in Nigeria is very important for those that make payment online.
In this article I will explain all you need to know on how to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria, the requirements needed from you, and the limits as well.
But before I proceed let me explain what the financial term is all about.
What is domiciliary account?
A domiciliary account is a type of current account in Nigeria whereby a bank customer can save funds in foreign currency and which includes the likes of USD, Euro and Pounds.
Banks like access bank do offer the option to have a Yen Dom account here in Nigeria.
Once you have a domiciliary account in Nigeria, you can seamlessly receive inflow from any part of the world straight into your Dom account.
Mostly, domiciliary account is only limited to USD, Euro and pounds. If you want to receive money in other currencies like the Chinese Yen, Canadian dollar, etc then you have to use your domiciliary account and the equivalent will be converted and saved on your Dom account.
Banks do have various types of domiciliary and I’m quite sure the likes of first bank, zenith bank and uba offer two types of domiciliary account.
For example, zenith do have ordinary and cash domiciliary account. You can open the cash domiciliary account with a zero account opening but the ordinary domiciliary account requires at least $1k and it has both USD, Euro and pounds.
Before opening a domiciliary account with any bank you need to be quite sure on how it works for them especially their charges and limit.
Features/benefits of domiciliary account
- Being able to receive funds from abroad and save the fund in foreign currency.
- Through domiciliary account you can request and have a dollar debit card or credit card in Nigeria.
- Domiciliary account doesn’t have a spending limit and very good for online businesses.
- The exchange rate at the black market makes it more enjoyable having a domiciliary account in Nigeria.
- You can use your dollar debit debit to withdraw cash in abroad though it depends on the bank. For example, gtbank and access bank gives you the chance to withdraw cash in abroad using their debit card.
How to open a domiciliary account?
To open a domiciliary in Nigeria, you have to get a copy of your electricity bill, a passport, an ID and a filled reference form. Walk into your preferred bank and open your Dom account.
This is nothing but an initial explanation on opening a Dom account in Nigeria.
Before you can open a Dom bank account in Nigeria, there are requirements need from you and which I’ve explained below.
Requirements on opening a domiciliary account in Nigeria
- The account holder must be 18 years and above.
- A passport.
- Means of identification like the voter’s card, nin, international passport, and the driver’s license.
- An utility bill like the nepa bill, water bill or any other utility bill.
- A duly filled reference form.
I will explain these requirements one after the other as it is very essential in the opening of a Dom account.
1. The account holder must be 18 years and above.
This is the certified age in Nigeria for someone to open a regular or level 3 bank account unless in terms of kids account and the student account.
You must be 18 years and above to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria, and if you are below the age of the sorry you will have to wait until you attain the required age of opening a Dom account in Nigeria.
For the mean time you have to endure having a level 1 and two student account.
2. Having a passport
There’s no big deal getting a passport to open a domiciliary account, just look around, find any photographer and take a shot. However, only one passport is required unless in some cases cases where the bank will require two passport photograph.
So if you are going to the bank try to have two passport photographs with you.
3. Means of identification
This is very essential in opening a bank account in Nigeria, you must have an ID with you and it must a recognized ID and not just any ID.
The acceptable IDs are; voters card, international passport, nin and driver’s license. If you have any other IDs aside from these listed requirement, the bank won’t accept that your very ID.
4. An utility bill is required
As long as you are opening a regular or a level 3 bank account in Nigeria, you must have your utility bill with you. The commonly and acceptable utility bill is the electricity or I will say the nepa bill.
You can as well use the rent bill or water bill to open a bank account in Nigeria.
If you happen to stay in a place or in an environment where electricity is just one for the entire flat or community, then you have to look for a way to get an utility bill.
However, bear in mind that some banks will verify your home address in what they call it KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER (KYC).
5. A duly filled reference form
This is where the problem lies when opening a domiciliary account in Nigeria.
You must present a duly filled reference form and they are usually two in number.
The plain truth about submitting a reference for or getting two referees for your domiciliary account is that one can be from another bank, while the other referee must be from the bank you are opening a domiciliary account with.
For example, you want to open a gtbank domiciliary account and according to the bank you can bring referees from any bank.
That’s a big fallacy.
One referee can be from any other bank but the other referee must be a gtbank current account holder.
If you present two referees from different banks, the bank will only accept one and reject the other. They will come up with lots of excuses until you get sick and tired of presenting referees to them.
So if you are opening a domiciliary account with gtbank, one of the referees must be a gtbank current account holder and this is applicable to all banks in Nigeria.
Note that the referees must be a current account holder and most times it shouldn’t be a salary account or a new current account though it depends on the bank.
After you have all these requirements readily available, then you are set opening a domiciliary account in Nigeria.
The account opening process
Some banks will require a sum amount of money in opening of a Dom account and I’m very sure of first bank Nigeria.
However, mostly it is free for most banks to open a domiciliary account especially if it is USD Dom account.
To open a domiciliary account in Nigeria, walk into the bank with the necessary requirements and meet with the customer service representative. You will be given a form to fill, kindly fill out the form and return it back to the customer service representative and complete the account opening process.
Once everything is complete, the customer service representative will tell you to go and it will take 48hrs to receive your account number.
Please confirm if everything is working properly before funding your domiciliary account.
I’m saying this based on my experience with gtbank, the bank will not tell you that your account is not completed and you will go ahead to fund the account.
Boom they will freeze the account.
In my case, one of the referee was rejected by gtbank which I didn’t know, and gtbank went ahead to send an account number and request that I should fund the account.
I did that and when it was time for me to use the fund in my domiciliary account, I found out that the account was frozen due to referee rejection.
So before funding your account, contact your account manager or the bank customer service representative and inquire if the domiciliary account is active before funding the account.
Note: Zenith bank will not ask for a referee if you have an existing naira account with them.
This is how to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria. The next question will be how do I fund a domiciliary account in Nigeria?
How to fund domiciliary account in Nigeria
You can’t open a domiciliary account without knowing the means of funding the account. There are two ways to fund a domiciliary account and it includes the followings.
1. Through inflow
This is one of the popular ways of funding a domiciliary account, and this requires you receiving money from abroad straight to your Dom account.
If you have someone abroad or you are the type that usually receive fund from abroad, domiciliary account is the best option to receive the fund.
2. Through transfer
Another way to fund a domiciliary account in Nigeria is through transfer just like money transfer but it is quite different with naira to naira transfer.
That is, someone with gtbank domiciliary account cannot transfer to someone with zenith bank domiciliary account. It must be gtbank to gtbank and zenith bank to zenith bank. While with naira Bank account, you can transfer money from your bank account to another (bank) account.
3. Through cash deposit
This requires you funding your domiciliary account through cash deposit. This usually comes in handy if you have a payment to make online and through the black market or aboki you can exchange naira for dollar and deposit the money into your domiciliary account.
These are the means to fund a domiciliary account in Nigeria.
How much does it cost to open a domiciliary?
To open a domiciliary account in Nigeria is usually free for most banks except the likes of first bank and access bank which has a minimum opening account. For other banks it is for free especially if it is only USD Dom account.
For example, first bank minimum opening balance is $500, €500 or £300 which may not be favorable in the eyes of most Nigerians and especially as their minimum operating balance is $100, €100, or £50 respectively.
Zenith ordinary domiciliary account attracts an opening balance of $1k or it’s equivalent in naira, while the cash Dom account has no minimum opening balance.
Access bank domiciliary account has an kpening balance of $100, £100 & €100 respectively and which is very much okay compared to first bank minimum requirement. The besr part is that access bank domiciliary account offers Pounds, Euro, Dollars and Yen.
To know if the bank you want to open a domiciliary account has a minimum account opening, kindly contact the bank customer service representative and make your inquiry.
How to check Domiciliary account balance
The best means of checking domiciliary account balance is through mobile app or internet banking. Once you have your Dom account linked to a mobile banking app or internet banking, you can easily check your domiciliary account balance without incurring any charges.
If you have an existing account and mobile banking with the bank you have a Dom account with, request for the bank to link your domiciliary account number to your existing bank account. With that you can view your Dom account balance along with your naira savings account balance plus other accounts you have with your bank.
Below is a typical example of having all your accounts in one mobile app.
Can I withdraw dollars from my domiciliary account in Nigeria?
Yes you can withdraw dollars from a domiciliary account but only if you opened a USD Dom account. If you happen to open a pound or Euro Dom account, you can’t withdraw dollars from them except for pounds or Euro.
Before opening a domiciliary account in Nigeria you must make up your mind if you want USD, Euro, Pound, or yen domiciliary account. However, banks do offer these three Dom accounts to their customers, so it is left for the customer to make it’s choice.
For example, gtbank will offer all the three options (USD, Euro and Pounds) and it is left for the customer to select the three options.
Domiciliary account limit
As at this time of writing this post, domiciliary account limit is $10K per a single cash lodgment with a maximum operating balance of $20k in a month.
However, if you are the type that do exceed the $10k single cash lodgment I recommend you to contact your account officer and liaise with him or her based on how you can receive more than $10k into your domiciliary account.
Which bank is best for domiciliary account in Nigeria?
I will give it first bank, access bank and zenith bank as the best bank to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria. This is majorly because there’s no hidden charges and their charges are usually very low.
First bank domiciliary account may seem quite difficult for some people but they are very good along with access bank and then zenith bank. Gtbank hidden charges us quite annoying for me though I mostly use them for online payment as I have a dollar card with them.
What is the minimum balance for domiciliary account?
For most bank, there’s nothing like minimum operating balance or I will say the minimum operating balance is zero. However, first bank minimum operating balance is $100, €100, or £50 respectively.
Gtbank, zenith bank, access bank, uba operating balance is zero. So far these are the ones that I know though I will make inquiries for other banks.
Domiciliary account charges in Nigeria
Domiciliary account charges differs from bank to bank, gtbank do charge 0.25% per a cash withdrawal, first bank and access bank are 0.5% per a single cash withdrawal.
The higher the transaction, the higher the charges will be.
Before opening a domiciliary account in Nigeria you have to contact the bank or the customer service representative and inquire their charges and also if there’s a maintenance fee attached to their Dom account.
Can I transfer money from naira to my domiciliary account?
Absolutely no. You cannot transfer naira into a domiciliary account but rather you can only transfer foreign currency into a Dom account.
If your domiciliary account is in USD, you have to transfer USD to the Dom account. If your domiciliary account is in pound or Euro, then you can only transfer pound or Euro to your Dom account.
Can I transfer money from my domiciliary account?
You can transfer money from your domiciliary account to another domiciliary account but it must be same bank with your Dom account.
For example, you can transfer money from your gtbank Dom account to another gtbank Dom account. Access bank Dom account to another access bank Dom account and that’s how it works.
How long does it take to receive money in a domiciliary account?
It depends on the means of receiving fund into your domiciliary account. Inflow usually take one to five working days for the money to reflect in a Dom account, while direct deposit usually take two to six hours to reflect.
For transfer, it shouldn’t take more 30 minutes to receive fund into your domiciliary account. From my experience first bank is usually very fast receiving inflow into a Dom account compared to other banks.
Advantages of domiciliary account
The main advantage of opening a domiciliary account in Nigeria is the fact that you will be able to receive or have funds in foreign currency other than the Nigeria naira.
With a high exchange rate at the black market, having a Dom account is a lot sweeter especially if you are the type that always receive fund from abroad.
For example, $1k to naira being exchanged using the bank exchange rate will be 1000 x 411 which gives you N411,000. However, if it is the black market exchange rate which will be 1000 x 567 which will give N567,000.
If you minus 411,000 from 567,000, this gives you a whopping 156,000. This means exchanging with the bank rate you will be losing N156,000.
Now that the naira debit card is limited to $200, with a dollar card you will exceed the limit. Mind you, to have a dollar card in Nigeria you must have an existing domiciliary account.
This is where I draw the conclusion on how to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria. I’m open to your questions and suggestions based on the topic of the post.
How can I get dollars in Nigeria?
You can get dollars by receiving it straight to your domiciliary account, through transfer or exchanging naira to dollar in the black market or through abokis at the black market.
Can I receive dollars in my Naira account?
You cannot receive dollars into a naira account, be it savings account or current account. You can only receive dollars into a dollar or USD domiciliary account.
If you want to receive dollars into your bank account, you will have to open a dollar Dom account and through the account you can receive dollars into your bank account here in Nigeria.