Nigeria, the economic powerhouse of West Africa, has been witnessing a remarkable financial transformation in recent times. As the country moves towards greater integration with the global economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria took a significant step by introducing changes to money transfers that have opened up exciting opportunities for individuals and businesses alike.
One of the key changes that has caught the attention of many is the option to open a USD account in Nigeria. This move allows both residents and non-residents to hold and transact in US dollars within the country's banking system. Whether you are an expatriate sending remittances to your loved ones or a foreign investor seeking to tap into Nigeria's thriving markets, having a dollar-denominated account can prove to be immensely beneficial.
In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of opening a dollar account in Nigeria, demystifying the steps and requirements involved. From understanding the Central Bank's regulations to choosing the right banking partner, we have you covered every step of the way.
In this blog, we will talk you through how to open a USD account in Nigeria.
We’ll be sure to answer:
- Can I open a USD bank account online in Nigeria?
- What documents do I need to open a USD bank account in Nigeria?
- Which bank is the best in Nigeria?
- How can I transfer money to Nigeria today?
Thankfully, it’s all good news and nothing for you or your family to worry about, so let’s have a look…
Most importantly, it will reassure you to know that your friends and family in Nigeria can open a USD bank account and continue to receive money you send to them. Some banks require accounts to be opened in person, with an application and relevant documents (we cover this later) to be taken to your nearest branch.
If that’s not possible, there are plenty of other USD accounts which can be opened online. All you need to do is follow a simple process that we can run through with you now.
For example, you can open a Domiciliary Account (a type of current account that allows you to fund it with foreign currencies such as dollars) with Polaris Bank using their online application form. Another option is Union Bank’s Domiciliary Account, this is a foreign currency account which allows customers to save in USD (as well as Euros or GBP). This can be opened online by completing and emailing the relevant application form.
- Passport photo
- Proof of identification: Nigerian passport, driver’s license, national ID or voters' card
- Proof of address: Recent utility bill, recent bank or credit card statement, tenancy agreement
Worth noting, the proof of address might also need to be certified. This means that it must be signed by a trustworthy professional to confirm that it belongs to the person opening the account.
Examples of the type of people who can certify documents include lawyers, solicitors and embassy workers. The banks will have a full list of who else can do this. Each bank’s website will have further details regarding the application process and documents required.
Your family can also contact their local branch if they need anything explaining, making it easy and quick for them to open their new USD account.
You will know as well as us, there are lots of different banks in Nigeria - more than 20 in fact. But, let’s keep things simple and just focus on the ones where we have direct experience. These are the banks that we know provide customers with everything they need.
Polaris Bank - Established in September 2018, it now has over 350 branches across Nigeria. With its Mobile Banking app and secure and convenient online services, it could be a good option if your family want to use their phone or computer for their banking.
Union Bank - Established in 1917, Union Bank is a respected institution with 284 service centres and over 934 ATMs across Nigeria. Offering both a Domiciliary Savings account and Domiciliary Current account, if you send USD to Nigeria for savings then this will benefit your family.
Fidelity Bank - Began operations in 1988 and now has over 5m customers. Its online account portal allows new customers to open a savings or current account in just a few easy steps.
Ecobank - The “Pan African Bank”, Ecobank has over 1,300 branches in 36 countries. With a focus on customer service, including friendly advice and support in every branch, it’s a good option if your family is looking for the personal touch.
You can continue to send money to Nigeria today using the same methods as you are used to. Of course, the vast majority of you will send money home using either bank deposit or cash pick up. But, did you know you can also send money to be picked up at the most convenient location for your recipient - at the time the money is sent?
With Small World you can also still complete your transactions via your local agent or Small World branch, over the phone, online or by using our app. We’re here to make it as easy as possible as you get used to the new changes.