Bank verification begins next month
The pilot phase of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) will begin in 1000 bank branches in Lagos by the end of May this year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said.
CBN’s Head, External Communication Department, Isaac Okorafor, told newsmen at a forum in Lagos at the weekend that the apex bank intends to use the pilot phase to examine the feasibility and challenges of the scheme before rolling it out in other parts of the country.
The BVN, which was inaugurated by the apex bank in February2014, is a biometric authentication of bank customers through the use of Point of Sale (PoS) and Automated Teller Machines (ATM).
The biometric authentication is designed to address the safety of customers’ funds and avoid losses through compromise of Personal Identification Number (PIN).
Okorofar also explained that the BVN is part of the overall blueprint of the apex bank to develop the nation’s financial system through requisite inclusion in the country.
He said those who cannot read and write would also be given the opportunity to be enrolled under the scheme through thumb print.
According to him, the verification will be done free of charge in all deposit money banks, including micro-finance banks in the country.
He charged account holders in banks to come out en-mass for the verification exercise, which he said the apex bank hopes to sustain beyond the prevailing banking system in the country. He said there is no deadline on the period customers can enroll under the scheme.
He said the fact that the federal government and the National Assembly gave the scheme utmost support is a statement that the project is poised to revolutionize operations of banks in the country through maximum protection of their customers.
Speaking, Oluseyi Ademosun, Manager Biometric Project, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, whose company provides the connectivity service, said the BVN has come to stay as a device to check fraud and protect the customers.