The increase in the number of BVN-linked accounts in the country has remained stable
Biometric Verification Number (BVN) registrations by bank account holders in the country have increased by 2.3 million in the past three months, New Telegraph has learned. According to data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), new registrations recorded between January and March brought total registrations to 54 million as of April 10, 2022.
As of December 26, 2021, the number of registrations for the number stood at 51.7 million. Checks revealed that the BVN database grew by six million during the year. NIBSS data showed active bank accounts in the country stood at 133.5 million as of December 2021.
Although there may be multiple accounts linked to a single BVN, industry analysts have said that there is still a gap between bank accounts and BVN records, which needs to be bridged.
According to the NIBSS, BVN gives bank account holders a unique identity that can be verified across the Nigerian banking industry, while ensuring that customer bank accounts are protected from unauthorized access.
Emphasizing the need for numbers, the NIBSS noted that with the increase in incidents of compromise to conventional security systems (password and PIN), there was a strong demand for greater security for access sensitive or personal information in the banking system.
“In recent times, biometric technologies have been used to analyze human characteristics as an enhanced form of authentication for real-time security processes,” he said.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Committee of Bankers, NIBSS, and a German company, Dermalog, launched the $50 million BVN project on February 14, 2014, with the aim of capturing the biometrics of all bank customers and give them a unique identity that can be verified across the Nigerian banking industry.
The project also aims to deepen financial inclusion in the country. To have many more Nigerians on the BVN database, CBN had announced in December 2019 the launch of the BVN 2.0 classification scheme which enables the rich and poor in rural areas to access financial services.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who announced the news at the end of the 11th Bankers Committee Retreat in Ogere, Ogun State, explained that BVN will now be classified into two, BVN Premium and BVN Lite.
According to him, while BVN Premium covers customers who can provide the 18 basic requirements for a full BVN registration, the BVN Lite requires minimal documents like name and phone numbers for bank customers, especially those in areas. rural areas that do not meet all the requirements. .
The initiative, which is in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Mobile Money Operators (MMOs), would ensure the integration of more Nigerians into the financial system.
“The BVN 2.0 classification system will help attract more people into the financial system and reduce the rate of financial exclusion,” the CBN Governor said.
The “Know Your Customer (KYC)” program is part of what will be migrated to BVN Lite. However, some people are currently financially excluded, such as people in our rural communities who have phones but no financial services.
With the collaboration of NCC, we put this BVN arrangement to allow them to provide minimal financial services. “It should be possible for us to migrate these people to the BVN lite arrangement where they can perform minimal financial services, not just banking, but minimal financial services, insurance and whatever you want to perform in terms of finance, electronic payment. , or whatever it is, you can do it using your phone.
Integrating them into the financial system will help increase the rate of financial inclusion and reduce the rate of exclusion,” Emefiele added.