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Sunday, November 16, 2014

BANKING & FINANCIAL INFO: Banks’Biometric Verifications: What You Should Know and Do (1)

The Central Bank of Nigeria early this year launched the Bank Verification Number to revolutionise banking data systems in the country. In the new series of this column starting today, we shall be treating some basic information and knowledge every bank customer should have concerning this major development in Nigerian banking services. BVN is a biometric authentication of bank customers using Point
of Sale and Automated Teller Machines and the biometric authentication is meant to address the safety of customers’ funds and avoid losses through compromise of Personal Identification Numbers hitherto used in bank card services in Nigeria.

The apex bank had envisaged that commercial banks would have captured biometric details of all customers nationwide within the next 18 months ending June 2015. The platform already rolled out nationwide attracts no charges, and it would allow banks to enrol and verify the identity of each customer from any point of transaction device.

The implementation is now in the second phase and CBN has selected 1000 bank branches for this phase. The first phase was actually a pilot scheme and the commencement of the second phase in the third quarter of the year indicated that the pilot scheme was a success.

In the pilot phase, over 7,000 bank verification numbers were issued by 21 banks and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc to customers. The enrolment and BVN issuance was achieved across 44 bank branches which included 21 bank headquarters.

The initiative represented a major landmark in the Bankers Committee’s efforts at promoting financial inclusion drive, prevent or minimise money laundering in the system, while reducing fraud in bank transactions to its barest minimum. The initiative would also allow banks to give their customers unique identities.
Interestingly, Mr Godwin Emefiele, as Managing Director of Zenith Bank then was the chairman of the Sub-Committee on Biometrics in Bankers’ Committee, and he had said he was happy that the group met the deadline. Two months afterwards he was named CBN Governor, assuming full responsibility for the implementation.

Some of the benefits of the exercise are that it will open up more consumers to banking services. The initiative supported by all the banks in the country would also boost consumer lending. The issue of forgetting one’s personal identity number when it comes to transaction does not arise because the biometric cards only use bio-data information. Obviously, the issue of identity theft is completely wiped out if you are on BVN.
The exercise only requires a valid means of identification such as national identity, international passport or driver’s license.

Any bank customer can go for the BVN registration at any of the selected bank’s branches but not necessarily restricted to where his or her account is domiciled. You can approach any branch to be directed to the nearest branch currently executing the programme if that one is not among.
Every customer can only enrol once while it takes an average of five to seven minutes to complete the exercise. A simple form is then issued to the customer to fill which is to be completed and enrolment receipt or ticket is issued after the enrolment on the spot.

Also, at the end of the exercise, the customer receives an SMS stating his or her BVN within 24 to 48 hours.
The exercise is expected to achieve verification and secure authentication of the identity of bank customers and ultimately serve as a means of authenticating customer’s identity at point of banking transactions.
It gives bank customers a uniform and single identity called the BVN that would be acceptable across the Nigerian financial system as all other bank accounts operated by the individual would be tied to it.


CREDIT: PUNCH

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COMMENTS

Tai Abio and Jimoh Wilson like this.
Jimoh Wilson
thanks endy

Jimoh Wilson
happy sunday

Bem John
how will that happen?

Endy Edeson
@bem: have you read the article? if not click the link to do so

Tai Abio
Gud gesture, thanks @ENDY, dats a commendable work dia.

Endy Edeson
@tai: you are welcome

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