By now, most people know about the Bank Verification Number, commonly referred to as BVN. The BVN scheme is the registration of customers in the financial system using biometric technology.
Biometric technology involves the process of recording a person’s unique physical traits - such as their fingerprints and facial features.
This record can then be used to correctly identify the person afterwards. Once a person’s biometrics have been properly captured, the person is given a Bank Verification Number (BVN).
The BVN was introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria to strengthen security within the banking system and reduce fraud the incidence of fraud in the system. Essentially, fraud is reduced because no two person have the same biometric information - each person has his own unique fingerprint or facial features for example. As a result, banks can always check the features of a person doing a transaction to see if those features match the record which they have. In doing this, banks could ensure that they are dealing with the right person.
All bank customers in Nigeria are required to register or enroll for a BVN. To do this, you will need to visit any of your bank’s branches. The Bank Verification Number which is given to a person will apply to that same person for ANY bank in Nigeria; this means that you will have one number which you will use for all banks. So apart from preventing fraud on customers’ accounts, BVN will help the banking system to fish out customers who have been blacklisted by one bank and who run off to another bank.
Because the BVN captures physical features, it is also very helpful for people who cannot read and write, thereby making sure that everyone is included in the financial system.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has given different dates by which different levels of customers must have a BVN. ALL bank customers are however expected to have their BVN by October 2015.
To avoid the long queues, don’t wait till October 31, 2015 to get your BVN.