CBN to extend Bank Verification Number registration

Rita Eremiokhale, Lagos

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is planning to extend the Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration project to customers of other financial institutions such as Microfinance Banks and Primary Mortgage Institutions, among others.

The bank’s Director, Banking and Payment Systems Department, Dipo Fatokun made this known at the bi-monthly forum of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria in Lagos.

Fatokun said the apex bank was considering having the customers of such other Financial Institutions enrol for the bank verification number through deposit money banks, because of the high cost of procuring the machines.

 “We also expected that many of the other financial institutions customers, who already have their BVNs will supply the data to their banks, while others without BVN will register afresh,” he stated.

Reducing bank fraud
The Bank Verification Number project, which is being coordinated by the CBN, commercial banks and the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System has helped reduce the number of bank frauds in the industry.

According to Fatokun, “I want to assure you that the BVN has assisted us a lot in the banking system. It has assisted us to check frauds, and we are working on a framework, that will enable us if not to blacklist customers, because of some legal implications, but at least to watch-list a customer that is identified to have been fraudulent, or have done what he is not supposed to do across the banking sector.”

The number of Bank Verification Number linked to customers’ accounts as at August 23 2016 was 36.7 million, while the total number of individual customers in the banks was reported as 59.9 million as at the same date.