5 Best banks for students in Nigeria (2023)

Having a trustworthy bank to entrust your money is both a blessing and a necessity. As a new undergraduate student, it may be the first time navigating banking on your own. As such, you will need a bank that is reliable, efficient and trustworthy. 

Since students generally have limited funds and are always staggering to manage the funds given to them, they need specific requirements for the banks they use. Most importantly, the bank should have low charges, a low minimum operating balance, and be easy to use and efficient. There are many banks in Nigeria, and each of them has an option for students. However, the ones that truly stand out and benefit students the most include the following.

Best banks for Nigerian students

1. Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank)

GTBank has an account just for students between the ages of 16 and 25, called the GTCrea8 e-savers account, which offers features such as a debit card, online banking, and access to the GTCrea8 portal for educational resources.

Benefits

  • 24/7 Banking service via various e-channels of GTBank
  • 4.95% interest rate yearly which will be paid to your Account Balance
  • Complimentary invites to GTCrea8 events and Masterclasses
  • No transfer charges to any bank using either sms (737) or mobile app
  • No sms charges 
  • No charges on standing instruction
  • Zero account opening fee, zero opening and minimum balance
  • Access to the GTCrea8 Education Support Grant 

Requirements for opening an account

There are three categories of GTCrea8 e-savers accounts you can open including level 1, level 2, and level 3. Each category has different requirements for opening an account, operational requirements and features.

Level 1 

Documents needed

  • A completed AOP (Account Opening Portal)
  • Schools details
  • Passport photograph

Transaction limit

  • A maximum cumulative account balance of N300,000
  • A maximum single deposit amount of N50,000

Card given

  • Instant Card

Level 2

Documents needed

  • A completed AOP form 
  • Student ID (school/departmental/association/library card) or biodata page

Transaction limit 

  • A maximum cumulative account balance of N500,000
  • A maximum single deposit amount of N100,000
  • Issuance of Cheques and Dividends of a maximum of N100,000

Card given 

GTCreat8 card (local) with a spending limit of N500,000

Level 3

Documents needed

  • Completed AOP form
  • Student ID
  • Regulatory ID

Transaction limit

  • You can lodge cheques, drafts, and dividends into the account (maximum of N1,000,000 per instrument)

Card given 

GTCrea8 card (international) with an ATM limit of N150,000, and a $100 spend limit

2. Zenith Bank

Zenith Bank offers the Aspire account, which is designed to enhance the lifestyle of students. It is designed for undergraduate students between the ages of 16 to 25 and provides a variety of features, including a debit card, internet banking, mobile banking, and access to educational content.

Features

  • A maximum cumulative account balance of N300,000
  • A maximum single deposit amount of N50,000
  • A daily transfer limit of N20,000
  • Aspire Debit Card (Verve)
  • Enrolment into E-channels: *966#EasyBanking, the Zenith Mobile App and ZIVA (Zenith Intelligent Virtual assistant)

Benefits

  • An interest rate of 5.5% 
  • A uniquely designed MasterCard Paypass for just N500
  • Cashless banking via ATM, POS, ZIVA, Mobile and Web
  • Exclusive discounts and periodic promotions from partner merchants
  • Email and SMS transaction alerts

Requirements to open an account

  • A completed account opening form
  • A recent passport photograph
  • A valid means of identification (NIN, Driver’s License, Voter’s Card, Nigerian International Passport), Admission Letter or School ID Card
  • Details of parents/guardians 

3. Access Bank

Access Bank specifically caters to students and young adults between the ages of 16 and 30 through their Solo Account. This bank account is designed to grow with the needs of the students it caters to and has many features that are beneficial to students. 

Benefits

  • No minimum daily balance 
  • An interest rate of 5.55% every year
  • No charges on transfers to other Access bank accounts
  • Allows dividend warrant of up to N100,000
  • Access to exclusive events at discounted rates
  • Access to student loans
  • Access to tools for financial management
  • Opportunities for internship/Campus Ambassador program.
  • Access to Online Entertainment via www.acceleratetv.com
  • Special package for customers turning 18 years
  • Various variants of Debit Cards based on the preference of the customer and a 50% discount on the first issuance of a Debit Card
  • Various discounted and free offers
  • Account information updates via SMS/Email alerts
  • E-channel platforms available for on-the-go banking
  • Access to personal development workshops and seminars

What you need to open an account

  • A completed account opening form
  • A specimen card with a complete signature
  • 2 completed reference forms
  • 2 recent passport photographs
  • A valid means of identification (international passport, driver’s license, voters card, national ID card, National Identity Management Commission slip). 
  • Proof of address (with a recent utility bill, DSTV receipt, etc). 
  • Residence permit for foreigners living in Nigeria

4. FirstBank of Nigeria

The XploreFirst account of FirstBank is designed for students and young adults between the ages of 18-29. It provides exciting benefits for its users. 

Benefits 

  • A chance to win up to N150,000 Naira in scholarships at a raffle draw as long as you maintain an average account balance of N10,000 for six months. 
  • A customized debit Mastercard (expressions card) with your picture printed on it. 
  • Zero account opening balance 
  • Minimum operating balance of N100
  • Cheques/dividend warrants lodgement available
  • Various savings loyalty campaigns you can participate in

What you need to open an account

  • A valid student ID card
  • A copy of the school admission letter
  • A recent passport photograph
  • BVN
  • E-signature

5. United Bank for Africa (UBA)

UBA offers a student account called the NextGen account that provides benefits such as a debit card, access to UBA’s digital banking platforms, and discounts on educational products. It is designed for undergraduates between the ages of 16 to 25.

Benefits

  • A chance to win N15,000 pocket money every month for a year
  • A change to become a UBA Campus Ambassador
  • Complimentary invites to NextGen events and master classes, and free online business workshops
  • An annual interest of 5.25%
  • 50% discount on your first debit card

Requirements for opening an account

  • A recent passport photograph
  • A valid means of identification (driver’s license, national ID, international passport, voters card), student ID or Corpers ID. 
  • A recent utility bill, school fees receipt or hostel allocation document 

Conclusion

When choosing a bank to entrust your money to, you must do thorough research and make a careful decision. You do not want charges to drain your wallet, or go through the frustration of a failed transaction. You want your banking experience to be cheap, fast and reliable, and the above banks will provide you with just that. 

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Habibat Musa

Habibat Musa

Habibat Musa is a content writer with MakeMoney.ng. She writes predominantly on topics related to education, technology and business. She is an English language major.

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