Bank ver­i­fi­ca­tion be­gins next month

Daily Trust - - FINANCE - Mo­hammed Shosanya, La­gos

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.

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