Nigeria: 20 Million bank account owners enrol in the BVN scheme

Sep 15, 2015

The move is expected to make accounts more secure using unique identifiers.

Over 20 million Nigerian bank account owners have enrolled in the Bank Verification Number (BVN) scheme, the Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) has revealed.

It said it also started a collaboration with telecommunication firms such as Etisalat to create a platform that allows bank customers to confirm their registration status.

"The service, unveiled at the NIBSS headquarters recently, is designed to help the Nigerian public query their BVN on-the-go via their mobile phones."

The BVN scheme, which was launched in February 2014 by the country's central bank, involves capturing the biometric data (face and fingerprints) of bank customers to store them at the NIBSS in a bid to fight fraud and identity theft.

It uses a biometric technology system for verification and secure authentication of the identity of bank customers, giving the bank's customers a uniform and single identity that will be acceptable across the Nigerian financial system.

The country's banks have intensified their enrolment campaign ahead of the October 31 deadline, when all bank account owners must be registered.

Seyi Adenmosun, the Project Manager, told the Daily Independent that under the new regime, instances where "some people go to banks, take a loan, change their identity and go to another bank with their newly assumed identity would no longer be possible."

When anyone registers to obtain a BVN number, the NIBSS platform will check its database to see if an identity match exists. The information obtained is then sent to the banks before any number is allocated.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801800457-ADNFCR