How to Open a Domiciliary Account in Nigeria (2023)

This article provides you with step by step guide on How to Open a Domiciliary Account in Nigeria with any Nigerian bank. First, What is a domiciliary account? A domiciliary account is a type of account that allows you to make a transaction in a foreign currency of one type, eg a dollar domiciliary account or a euro domiciliary account.

In this case, if you have worked for a firm or someone either by freelancing or maybe someone abroad needs to send money to you then you need a domiciliary account to receive such funds.

You can also make a transaction from your domiciliary account to the same currency account, but if you have a dollar domiciliary account you can only send to a dollar account number, though some banks help to convert the money this will take time and some processes.

With a domiciliary account, you can transfer money or receive money from and to a foreign account.

This is simple to understand, a domiciliary account is just like your normal current account that enables you to send naira to other savings accounts in Nigeria.

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Domiciliary Account In Nigeria?

Depending on the bank, I opened with Zenith Bank Nigeria, it cost little or nothing to open, but first, you must have a current or savings account with the bank first, and also you must be able to provide at least 2 referees with the current account with your bank of choice or with any bank in Nigeria.

However note, that it takes a longer time for your bank of choice to verify the referred details you provide if it’s from different banks.

For example, while opening my Dormicilary account with Zenith bank, first, I provided referees from the First bank and Wem Bank, after 2 weeks they still haven’t verified so I had to change and get 2 referrals from zenith bank, and there, their details were verified.

You need to open a domiciliary account in your country and make sure it is for a currency which you are expecting or the currency in which you feel your customers use in their country, most people use dollars and also some pounds, you can open for whichever currency you want.

After opening a domiciliary account in Nigeria, you will get your account number on your email address or phone number then you can start transactions with your account.

So if the person you worked for abroad asked for your account number you can give it to him/her with your bank swift codes and other details, so if it is a dollar account the person will send you your money in dollars and you can withdraw the dollars here in Nigeria and later proceed to convert it to Naira if you wish.

The bureau de change is in charge of currency conversion, it is an office where you can sell your dollars and they pay you in Naira or whichever currency you want it converted to.

Which Foreign Currency Should I Use In My Domiciliary Account?

This depends on your current country, i.e. the country you are based in, and also depends on where you feel you will be getting funds from, likewise, it depends on the currency your bank offers but most banks usually make use of widely used currencies like dollars, pounds, yen or euros.

How Can I Receive Foreign Currency Using My Domiciliary Account?

To receive a foreign currency with which your domiciliary account was registered you will need to give your account number to the person you are expecting the money from.

Sending the money to you shouldn’t be a problem for the sender as long as he/she has your account number and your bank swift code details.

For someone sending money to you through wire transfer from the USA, your account will be credited within two to three working days, unlike your normal savings account where you get credited almost immediately, a domiciliary account does take little time depending on the method it was being sent.

Bear in mind that Saturdays and Sundays are not working days so you don’t add that to the days.

Other transfer methods can be faster, but this might require more charges for faster transactions, this is also applicable to you should in case you want to transfer money to someone abroad.

Can I Transfer Money Online Using A Domiciliary Account?

Yes of course, when opening your domiciliary account make sure the internet transaction is ticked on the form given to you, you can make use of your bank internet banking or mobile application, so you can see your account balance in real-time and also transfer money via the app.

You can also make the transfer from the counter at your bank, you hand them the cash and they help you with the transfer.

Can I Receive Money With A Different Currency To My Savings Account?

It depends on the bank, some banks don’t allow you to receive a different currency on your normal savings account and others do accept it.

So if your bank allows you to then this is better than going through the stress of opening a domiciliary account.

But you should know, for some banks, you will not receive the money in dollars, they will have to convert it to naira using the current official rate exchange which might not be encouraging unlike you getting the dollars and changing it yourself.

So for banks that accept such, you can get your money no matter the currency they sent to you, either dollars, pounds, or euros, the currency will be converted to naira with the official bank rates.

So to take advantage of the conversion rate of Naira to whichever currency as long as Niara is weak then the best option is a domiciliary account, you will get almost double the amount the bank will change your money to with their official exchange rate.

Advantages Of Having a Domiciliary Account

As it has been earlier mentioned,  having a domiciliary account gives you much more benefits when dealing with an international transaction, below are the benefits of operating a domiciliary account;

  • You will be able to receive direct foreign currencies
  • You can make payment for services with direct foreign currency
  • You will always be secure and not affected by unstable currencies
  • You can help people receive money and charge them for such service
  • You can serve as a referee to someone else that wants to open a current account or a domiciliary account

Disadvantages Of a Domiciliary Account

  • You can only transact in one currency per account (you can open for any other currency)
  • Getting referees is always difficult as most people hardly stand in for you because they don’t know the purpose for which you want to open the account, also, most people use a savings account which isn’t acceptable.


I hope you now know much more about opening a domiciliary account in Nigeria if this is helpful kindly share via the share button.