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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Banks Won’t Charge Customers For BVN Cards – NIBSS

As bank customers intensify efforts to enroll for the Bank Verification Number (BVN), the managing director of the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Mr Ade Shonubi, has said that they would not be charged for the BVN cards that would be issued to them after they have completed their registration.

The BVN is an initiative aimed at protecting bank customers and further strengthening the Nigerian banking system. It is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in conjunction with the Bankers’ Committee meant to address the safety of customers’ funds, avoid losses through compromise of personal identification numbers and other criminal activities in the industry.

The NIBSS boss, who is responsible for the implementation of the BVN, explained that “We are giving the BVN cards out for free. The cost is borne by the Bankers’ Committee, which considers the whole biometric project very important. They have been bearing the cost; the cost of the cards, cost of almost everything else that has to do with the BVN.”

Shonubi, who noted that the number of bank customers that have so far obtained their BVN has been quite encouraging, said that going by the current high level of compliance by customers, he was optimistic that banks will achieve their targets of customer registration.


In a statement from the Bankers’ Committee, he said that lenders would soon commence the distribution of the BVN cards, stressing that the cards are ready and are with the banks awaiting collection by customers.

“I have gotten my BVN card. I would encourage bank customers to talk to their banks as well. They have been printing them and sending them to the banks to distribute to the branches where you have enrolled, you would be sent an SMS. For those that have given email address, it would be sent their emails”, he stated.

As part of efforts to encourage enrolment on the BVN, the CBN directed banks to only honour transactions over N100 million from customers with BVN from March 31, 2015. Such transactions according to the apex bank, include but not limited to, money transfers, loans, and contingencies, among others.

The regulator also urged all bank customers to register for their BVN by June 2015, warning that any bank customer without a BVN would be deemed to have inadequate know-your-customers (KYC) by that date. BVN involves the registration of customers in the financial system using biometric technology making accounts more secure using unique identifiers such as fingerprints.

Analysts have also described the BVN as a ‘silver-bullet solution’ to many of the challenges in the banking industry. The BVN is a unique identifier for each bank customer across the financial industry, making it possible to build and track customer financial history and activity. This will allow banks access to more reliable information that could inform decisions on customer loan and credit applications and other complex transactions.

The initiative, which was launched on February 14, 2014 will also encourage financial inclusion as those who have typically stayed away from mainstream banking due to low literacy levels will be able to open and access their bank accounts using their biometric information rather than traditional identification methods.

The NIBSS which is owned by the CBN and all licensed banks in the country provides the infrastructure for automated processing of data, such as customers’ biometric information, settlement of payments and fund transfer instructions between banks, Discount Houses and card companies in Nigeria.


Source: Leadership

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