Opening Domiciliary Accounts in Nigeria: A Simple Guide

A significant number of individuals are unfamiliar with the concept of a domiciliary account, while others may be curious about how to open one but lack the necessary information. In this article, I aim to comprehensively cover all the essential aspects of a domiciliary account. Therefore, I encourage you to read on until the conclusion to gain a thorough understanding.

What is a domiciliary account?

A domiciliary account provides you with the convenience of sending, transferring, and receiving foreign currencies through your local bank, regardless of your location in the world.

Despite its name, a domiciliary account may initially sound complex and daunting, but in reality, it closely resembles a standard bank account. The key distinction lies in the additional functionalities that enable you to conduct transactions involving a wide range of foreign currencies. These currencies include, but are not limited to, the British pound, euro, US dollar, Canadian dollar, Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, and numerous others.

How do you open a Domiciliary account?

The process of opening a domiciliary account shares many similarities with that of opening a regular bank account. However, the ease, speed, and level of convenience can vary from one bank to another. It largely depends on the specific bank you select to open your domiciliary account with.


To ensure that you can complete the process in a single visit without having to return the next day, there are certain requirements that you must bring with you.

Below is the list;

  • You will need to provide a copy of a valid identification document such as a Driver’s license, International passport, National identification card, Nigerian passport, or any other acceptable valid identification document as specified by the bank.
  • One passport photograph
  • You should also have two completed reference forms from current domiciliary account holders within the Nigerian banking system.
  • Additionally, you’ll need to provide a utility bill issued within the last 3 months that shows the same house address as indicated in your domiciliary account opening form.
  • You will also need to fill out and sign a domiciliary account opening form provided by the bank.

Nigerian Banks that allow you to open a domiciliary account with them

Numerous Nigerian banks offer domiciliary account services, but we’ll only mention a few, providing you with various options to consider.

Why you need a Domiciliary account

There are several reasons why you might need a domiciliary account, and here are a few along with explanations:

Online Jobs

Many Nigerians receive their income in dollars through online jobs with international companies, such as freelancing and content writing. If you’re earning in dollars, having a domiciliary account is essential for convenient currency management and transactions.

Receiving/Transferring money

You can receive or send money at a cheap rate.

Online shopping

A domiciliary account often comes with a MasterCard, which can be incredibly useful for online shopping. Many international online shopping platforms, like Aliexpress, no longer accept Naira cards, so having a domiciliary account with a MasterCard can provide a convenient and stress-free shopping experience.

Online payments

There are several compelling reasons to consider opening a domiciliary account. Many online payment platforms, like Apple Music, no longer accept Naira cards. In addition to this, alternative payment apps such as Paypal, Geegpay, and Payoneer are viable options, but they often come with higher exchange rates compared to a domiciliary account.

It’s worth noting that Paypal has faced restrictions in Nigeria, and obtaining a fully functional Paypal account can be costly. Instead of incurring such expenses, you can easily acquire a Nigerian dollar account at no cost.

Moreover, many individuals receive international payments in their Naira accounts without realizing that the bank sets the exchange rate and final amount received. For instance, if the bank’s rate is 900 Naira to the dollar and you’re expecting 100 dollars, the bank will credit you 90,000 Naira. However, if you receive that same 100 dollars in your domiciliary account, you have the flexibility to find a willing buyer at a potentially better exchange rate, thus increasing the amount you ultimately receive. This flexibility can prove to be financially advantageous in the long run.

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