Figures attributed to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) indicate that a total of 700,000 Biometric Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) have been issued to bank account holders in the country for securely linking their identity to accounts, between April 10 and July 10, 2022, This Day newspaper reports.
This brings the total number of BVNs issued to 54.77 million, up from 51.7 million as of December 26, 2022, according to the report. A Nigerian Tribune article in April put the BVN’s registration figures at 54 million as of that month.
Despite this progress, the NIBSS is quoted as saying that the gap between the number of bank accounts and BVNs issued is still large.
According to the NIBSS, there were 135.5 million bank accounts in the 22 commercial banks operating in Nigeria as of last December, meaning that around 78.7 million bank accounts have yet to be linked to the BVN.
David Adnori, managing director of Highcap Securities Limited, told This Day that efforts must be made to close the gap which still remains large.
The BVN was introduced in 2014 by the CBN as a means of enhancing security around bank accounts in the country.
This is a unique number assigned to an account holder upon account creation to enable verification of their account across the banking ecosystem.
Early last year, the CBN launched an initiative to eventually replace BVNs with digital IDs.
Africa | banking | biometrics | fraud prevention | identity verification | Nigeria | secure transactions