CBN Captures 31m Nigerians In Bank Verification Number Project

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has captured no fewer than 31

million account customers in its Bank Verification Number (BVN)

project aimed at ensuring unique identifier in the Nigerian banking

industry.

CBN Director, Banking and Payment System, Mr Dipo Fatokun, disclosed

this in a paper titled, `Nigeria’s progress towards the creation of a

robust, trusted and inclusive Financial Services Environment’

delivered at the annual meeting of the ID4Africa movement on in Abuja.

Fatokun said the CBN had also linked a total of 43,959,282 banks

accounts in the BVN project.

“To address the absence of a unique identifier in the Nigerian banking

industry and to facilitate the creation of inclusive financial

services environment.

“The CBN in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee launched the BVN

Project on Feb. 14, 2014, with biometric solution, as a unique

identifier for all bank customers.

“The objectives includes the following: increase access, convenience,

service levels across the industry; enable greater financial inclusion

and integration of financial services into the economy, with its

attendant positive impact on economic development,’’ he said.

Fatokun said the BVN was also targeted at promoting safe and sound

financial system in the country.

He said that the BVN has helped in the provision of unique identity

for customers that impact other areas such as credit check, and

non-repudiation of transactions.

According to him, the BVN has also helped to increase deterrent

controls on financial transactions and reduce or mitigate fraud risk

and identity theft.

“Most importantly, it has created avenues for people who cannot write

regular signature to make financial transactions, thus, facilitating

financial inclusion.

“As at December 2017, the implementation of the BVN Project recorded

31,426,091 registered BVNs and 43,959,282- accounts linked with BVN,’’

he said.

Fatokun explained that the BVN was part of the Federal Government’s

strategy towards accelerating financial inclusion in the country.

“Nigeria launched its National Financial Inclusion Strategy in October

2012 with the goal of reducing the percentage adult Nigerians that are

excluded from financial services from 46.3 per cent in 2010 to 20 per

cent by 2020,’’ he said.

Fatokun added that a number of factors were identified as barriers to

financial inclusion among Nigerians.

“The identified barriers to financial inclusion include lack of

income, long distance to access points, lack of knowledge about

financial services, high cost of services and cumbersome requirements

for account opening.

“In order to achieve the set target, and to address the aforementioned

barriers, different measures and initiatives were put in place by the

CBN.

“To address the cumbersome documentation requirement for account

opening, the CBN introduced the Three-tiered Know-Your-Customer

(T-KYC) in 2013, which was modified in July, 2016.

“The three-tiered KYC guideline allows individuals who may not meet

the formal identification requirements and in banks to operate and

enjoy banking services within defined thresholds.

“The simplification consists of lowering the account opening

requirements and less-paper documentation in exchange for lower

threshold.

“The CBN T-KYC is one of the initiatives for improving financial

inclusion in Nigeria to facilitate easy access to a broad range of

formal financial services,’’ he said.