The Bank Verification Number commonly called BVN is a biometric identification system consisting of 11 digit number. It’s implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria to curb illegal banking transactions in Nigeria. It is a modern security measure in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 1958 to reduce fraud in the banking system. The system works by recording fingerprints and a facial photograph of the client.
BVN uses biometric technology to register customers in the financial system. It records these physical features which are unique to individuals – fingerprints and the face. Once a person’s biometrics have been recorded, and BVN issued, the account would be accessed through BVN.
The major objectives of the initiative are to protect bank customers, reduce fraud and strengthen the Nigerian banking system. Biometric enrolment is helpful to people who cannot read and write. Their finger prints and pictures would serve the same purpose as signatures. Multiple account holders would be covered with a single registration in any of the banks where they have accounts.
BVN will help the banking system reduce situations where loan defaulters, for instance, move from one bank to the other and the banks extend new credits to them, without knowing their history. Banks would be able to track transactions across all banks in Nigeria with more ease.
BVN is a great initiative that would reduce illegal banking transactions and improve national financial intelligence gathering. The interests of account holders should be accorded importance so that their increased confidence in the banking system would improve the financial standing of banks.