Nigeria: Banks roll out new system to fight fraud and identity theft

Apr 30, 2014

Banks in Nigeria will be rolling out the Bank Verification Number (BVN) scheme from May 2014, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

Banks in Nigeria will be rolling out the Bank Verification Number (BVN) scheme from May 2014, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

The scheme, which was launched on February 14 by the CBN, 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.

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.

According to the CBN's report for the first half of 2013 released on 19 February, there were 2,478 fraud and forgery cases involving Nigerian banks which amounted to
N22.4 billion (€100.5 million).