Nigerian banks intensify biometric registration as deadline looms

Feb 17, 2015

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

Nigeria's Bankers Committee has urged customers to enrol in the Bank Verification Number (BVN) scheme as the first deadline approaches.

The country's banks are intensifying their enrolment campaign using biometric technology to make accounts more secure using unique identifiers such as fingerprints, the Daily Trust reports.

It comes as Nigeria's central bank recently directed banks to only honour transactions over N100 million (€430,000) from customers with BVN from March 2015. It also urged all bank customers to register for their BVN by June 2015.

The scheme, which was launched in February 2014 by the CBN, involves capturing the biometric data (face and fingerprints) of bank customers to store them at the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (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.

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-801775615-ADNFCR