MON, 12 SEPTEMBER 2016-The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is on the verge of extending Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration project to customers of Other Financial Institutions (OFIS) such as Microfinance Banks (MfBs) and Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs).
Dipo Fatokun, director, banking and payment systems department of the CBN made the revelation when he spoke at the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) bi-monthly forum hosted by the apex bank in Lagos, at the weekend.
“The CBN is considering using commercial banks as registration points for the OFIS customers. We also expect that many of the OFIS customers, who already have their BVNs will supply the data to their banks, while others without BVN will register afresh,” he said.
Fatokun said the BVN project, which is being coordinated by the CBN, commercial banks and Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), had helped reduce the number of bank frauds in the industry.
The CBN director explained that before the coming of the BVN, identifications previously used in the banking industry were not foolproof, with fraudsters easily going unidentified.
However, BVN has now made it easier for the CBN and banks to uniquely identify every customer or to be able to trace transactions when frauds are committed. He explained that no bank customer, including Nigerian bank customers in the Diaspora, was authorised to have more than one BVN.
Fatokun said the number of BVN linked to customers’ accounts as of August 23, 2016, was 36.7 million while the total number of individual customers in the banks was reported as 59.9 million as of the same date.
“Any bank customer resident in Nigeria without a BVN would be deemed to have inadequate KYC while effort is ongoing to ensure that customers of OFIs such as MfBs and PMIs are brought into the system begin to get their BVNs,” he said.