If you want to open a bank account in Cameroon, you've come to the correct place because I'll walk you through the process as well as the many types of banks and bank accounts available in the country. Cameroon is an African country located in Central West Africa that attracts a large number of tourists due to its numerous interesting touristic spots.
Due to its vast natural resources, Cameroon is known as "Africa in miniature." However, we are not here to discuss the country's resources; rather, we are here to discuss its banking system and what it takes to open a bank account in Cameron.
Banking System in Cameroon
Because Cameroon is a Central African country, its financial system is regulated by BEAC, which is managed by the French Treasury and ensures the local currency's convertibility at a rate of 655.957 CFA per Euro. It is a legal requirement that Cameroon keep at least 60% of its foreign reserves in a French Treasury-managed account in Paris. The Central African Banking Committee (COBAC), based in BEAC's Yaounde offices, regulates the banking sector in CEMAC.
Cameroon has 13 commercial banks operating, with a total asset value of 1,700 billion CFA francs.
How much does it cost to Create a bank account in Cameroon
Well, the cost of opening a bank account in Cameroon varies depending on the many banks available, but it is usually free. However, depending on the type of bank account you want to start in Cameroon, you may be required to make an initial deposit of 10,000 XAF to 50,000 XAF, which can be withdrawn at any time once the account has been established.
What do I need to Open a Bank Account in Cameroon?
The criteria vary depending on the sort of bank account you wish to open, however the following are the essential requirements that most banks in Cameroon will want from you:
- A government issued ID Card, drivers license, international passport or permanent voters card
- A utility bill that shows the customer's residential address
- 2 or 3 passport sized photographs
- A sum for initial deposits
Types of Bank Accounts in Cameroon
Even though Cameroon's banking system isn't particularly well-organized or developed, there are still a variety of bank account alternatives from which to pick. Here are the many types of bank accounts available in Cameroon:
1. Savings Account
The savings account, as the name suggests, is an account that allows you to store money for long or short periods of time. Traders and low-income earners in Cameroon are the most common users of this sort of account. It's a savings account that earns interest over time, although at a low rate. A savings account in Cameroon can be opened with little or no money, and it has the following features:
- If interest is to be paid, money can only be withdrawn on rare occasions.
- Withdrawals cannot be done on the customer's behalf, and it comes with a beneficial interest rate.
2. Current Account
As the name implies, a current account allows you to deposit and withdraw money for your transactions whenever you want. A current account comes with a checkbook and is mostly utilized by business owners for their commercial operations. A current account holder can apply for loans and overdrafts from the bank.
The characteristics of a current account are listed below.
- Money can be withdrawn from the account on a regular basis.
- Other people can take money out of the account on the account owner's behalf.
- The consumer is responsible for commission payment to the ban.
- Current account holders are not eligible to interest on their savings.
3. Joint Account
A joint account is one that is formed and owned by two or more people, and no decisions are taken in it without the knowledge of the other participants. The joint account is broken down into two categories:
- The most common type of joint tenancy is that which is operated by married couples.
- Tenant in common is a type of rental property that is generally managed by business partners.
4. Coporate Account
A corporate account is one that is opened by large corporations and multinationals on their own. This account is also distinct from other banking accounts in that it is primarily used for commercial reasons.
5. Fixed Deposit Account
Money deposited in this sort of account is frequently held for a period of time, with a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 180 days being common. Corporate clients that want to earn a high rate of interest on their money often open a fixed deposit account.
This sort of account has the following characteristics:
- It attracts a higher interest rate
- A 7 days notice must be given before the withdrawal
- Money is often deposited and saved into this account for a specified period of time often decided by the customer anywhere between 30 days and 180 days.
6. Non Resident Cameroonian Account
A non-resident Cameroonian account is a bank account designed for Cameroonians living abroad who want to maintain a bank account in Cameroon.
7. Domiciliary Account
This is a sort of account that is used to conduct international transactions. It can be used to send money to another country or to receive foreign currency from different countries around the world.
How to Open a Bank Account in Cameroon
Follow the procedures below to open or create a bank account in Cameroon, either online or in person.
Choose a Bank: Even though Cameroon's banking sector is underdeveloped, you still have a large number of countries to choose from, and you can choose any bank based on the services they provide and the one that best meets your needs.
Prepare the following documents: Any bank has its unique set of requirements dependent on the type of account you wish to open. Below, you'll find out what each of these accounts requires.
How to Open a Savings Account
You will need the following documents in order to start a savings account in Cameroon:
- A government issued ID card or driver's License, or national ID card or a permanent voters card
- 3 or 4 passport sized photographs
- A utility bill that reflects the customer's residential address, it can either be an ENEO or Water bill.
How to Open a Current Account
In order to open a current account in Cameroon, you are going to need the documents below:
- A government issued ID card - international passport, national ID Card or permanent voters card
- An initial deposit is to be made once you have been served an account opening form
- You need 2 or 3 passport sized photographs
- A utility bill which reflects a customer's residential address - PHCN bill
Opening a Bank Account as Non-Resident in Cameroon
If you are a non-resident who wishes to create a bank account in Cameroon, you will be required to provide a stack of documents, as well as a reference or employer letter. The bank will almost always require one or two references to vouch for your good reputation, usually from persons who already have a bank account.
In the event that you are creating an account to pay your salary, you should be required to bring your employer letter confirming your employment. The following are the prerequisites for this type of account:
- A Residence permit that shows that you are in the country legally
- One or two reference forms or an employer letter
- Passport or another proof of ID such as national Identity card
- Application form and minimum account balance if relevant
- A passport photograph or authorized signatory
- Recent proof of your address such as a water bill, rent receipt or phone bill
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Opening a Corporate or Business Bank Account in Cameroon
The following documentation will be required to open a corporate or commercial bank account in Cameroon:
- Board Resolution
- Passport photo of each account
- Valid IDs of Directors - photocopies
- Passport photo of each account signatory
- Certificate of Incorporation
- You will have to fill and application form that will be provided to you by the bank
List of Banks in Cameroon
- Afriland First Bank
- Atlantic Bank Cameroon (Banque Atlantique)
- Banque International du Cameroun pour l'Epargne et le Crédit (BICEC)
- BGFI Bank Cameroon
- SCB Cameroun
- Crédit Communautaire d'Afrique Bank (CCA Bank)
- Commercial Bank of Cameroon (CBC)
- Ecobank Cameroon
- United Bank for Africa (UBA)
- National Financial Credit Bank (NFCB)
- Société Commerciale de Banque du Cameroun - (Formerly SCB Credit Agricole)
- Societe Generale des Banques au Cameroun (SGBC)
- Standard Chartered Bank
- Union Bank of Cameroon (UBC)
Conclusion on How to Create a Bank Account in Cameroon
A multitude of elements influence your decision, including the bank's closeness to your location, interest rates, reputation, and so on.
Banks have even simplified the process, and you no longer need to go to the bank to open an account; you can do it using a short code or online platforms from the comfort of your own home.
Depending on the sort of bank account you wish to open, you have a choice of options.