How to open a bank account in Nigeria
Bank account in Nigeria – Are you aware that deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria significantly should drive account opening across banks? Unbanked customers are undoubtedly beginning to key into the scheme of things.
According to a report N26.17 trillion emerged as unbanked money in Nigeria as at January to November 2021, this figure made its way into the Nigerian economy outside the traditional banking system.
What do you attribute to this? You may not be far from the truth if you cite the need to hold cash readily available for transactions that require urgent importance.
You may still be thinking within lines of decency if you attribute this to the gap between the traditional financial institutions and the Nigerian populace who control majority of the liquid fund in the economy.
However, from an economic point of view poverty has been singled out as one of the prevailing factors that accounts for unbanked money in circulation.
With issues such as cost of operating a bank account associated with various charges being deducted by the banks for services rendered.
With that out of the way, Nigerians are beginning to embrace the traditional banking and with the look of things more people are looking to open bank accounts either as beginners or to facilitate lifestyle or business transactions.
If you are looking to open a bank account in Nigeria but somehow at crossroad on how to get started, look no further, this guide will bare every single detail you need to know to the later.
Dynamics across banks
The truth is, opening a bank account with any Nigerian bank has almost similar or same format/requirements. Banks may differ in their product and service strategy.
However, the process of account opening follow routine pattern as stipulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria for every customer.
In this concept while making a choice of bank, rest assured you’ll be presented with similar requirements and activities.
Requirements and dynamics most often may differ subject to the type of account you are looking to open or minimal documentation requirements.
Requirements to open a bank account in Nigerian
Banks are usually masters of protocols, your documentation requirements should be strictly met, where you are lagging behind in some documents you are normally advised to take an alternative class of account to get onboard.
- A valid ID card which could be (National ID/NIN, voters card, driver’s license or international passport. Depending on the type of account, sometimes student ID cards are required for undergraduate accounts, etc.
- Utility bill not later than 3 months/90 days (NEPA bill, water bill, tenement receipt, etc.) where you cannot afford any of these, some banks will require two valid ID card which could be National ID/NIN and international passport. Usually a proof of address.
- A clear colored passport photograph
- Opening balance/ most accounts are said to have zero opening balance but you’ll need to credit your account as soon as it’s primed. You’ll need at least N1,000 to get started.
- Your BVN if you have any, if you didn’t have any the bank will advise you on this.
For customers looking to open a current account, you will need two references in place.
How to open a bank account in Nigeria
You can open an account online, via USSD code or at the branch, if you wish to use the branch, kindly walk into the nearest branch of the bank you want to open an account with.
On arrival walk straight to the customer service unit, inform the service officer your intention to open an account, communicate if it’s savings or current so you can be issued the appropriate form.
You will be asked to provide the requirements above.
The service officer on the other side will provide the following to get you started
- Account opening package, you will be required to complete the form while paying keen attention to details.
- Premise visitation report (PVR) will be carried on you with a form.
Having completed the form with submission of requisite documents your bank account number should be ready in less than 24 hours, with some banks your account is generated almost immediately.
Rules for completing the account opening package
If you are keen enough you will get to understand that most customers have difficulty getting their accounts linked with BVN having being profiled.
I’m sorry to say this, if Bank Verification Number (BVN) cannot be linked to your account, such bank account is as good as useless to both the customer and the bank, thus why you should pay keen attention to what I’m about to reveal to you right here.
Rule 1: If you have a BVN already, kindly ask the customer service officer to check the right sequence of name and date of birth on it for you on the system.
By sequence here I mean the first, middle and last name must be filled at the appropriate column on the account opening package. Same presumably should be on your preferred ID card.
Rule 2: If you don’t have a BVN yet, the bank will prime one for you. While completing the BVN enrolment form, kindly write the name on your approved ID card as it is, avoid alteration or omission of letters please. Write your date of birth exactly as it appears on your ID card.
Rule 3: While completing the account opening package, ensure the name on your preferred ID card is captured exactly without alteration or omission as well as your date of birth please.
Rule 4: Summarily, It’s expected that your BVN and bank account should contain same details without variation in name and date of birth.
Where the name or date of birth on the BVN differs from that contained on the bank account, such account cannot be linked with BVN thereafter.
This golden rule is meant to save you the stress of BVN correction of name or date of birth.
The frustration involved in this correction sometimes you may be tempted to abandon your account as well as the funds in it if any.
Frequently asked question
Code to open First bank account
Ans. Popularly, every Nigerian bank as well as First bank now has a unique interface through which customers can open a bank account via the USSD code.
First bank USSD code is denoted by *894#, having dial *894# in the next slide select “2” to open account, follow the screen prompt to complete the process.
Note: You can as well open First bank account online via the Mobile app/internet banking
Open bank account online in Nigeria
Ans. You can open a bank account online in Nigeria by using a preferred bank internet banking, Mobile banking platform or the website. Most banks have this feature on the website apart from the aforementioned two.
First bank savings account
Ans. The First bank savings account comprise of the following,
- Savings account
- FirstSavings Plus
- FirstGem Savings
- FirstInstant Plus
Requirements for opening a Zenith bank account
Ans. I’ve written a guide on how to open a Zenith bank account, go through it and see the basic requirements to operate one.
You’ve just gone through the golden template to open a bank account in Nigeria with any Nigerian bank of your choice, however, I’ll implore you to abide by the basic rules outlined herein while completing your account opening package or being profiled for BVN.
Getting it right is a recipe to a seamless banking experience, else you may regret getting involved in the first place. Are there questions or concerns you’d wish addressed? It’s your turn now.
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