Enrolments for the Biometric Verification Number (BVN) by bank account owners in the country rose to 54.7 million as of May 29, 2022. According to the data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), this shows that 3 million new enrolments were recorded between January and May this year.
As of December 26, 2021, the enrolment for the number stood at 51.7 million. The NIBSS data also revealed that the BVN database grew by six million in the year.
Meanwhile, NIBSS data showed that active bank accounts in the country stood at 133.5 million as of December 2021. While there may be multiple accounts linked to a single BVN, industry analysts said there is still a gap between bank accounts and BVN registrations, which must be filled.
To have many more Nigerians on the BVN database, the CBN had in December 2019 announced the commencement of the classification BVN 2.0 plan that allows both the rich and poor in rural areas to access financial services. The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who broke 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 the BVN Premium covers customers that can provide the 18 basic requirements for a complete BVN enrolment, the BVN Lite requires minimal documentation like names and phone numbers for bank customers, especially those in the rural areas that do not meet the full requirements.
The initiative, which is in collaboration with the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) and Mobile Money Operators (MMOs), would ensure more Nigerians are brought into the financial system. “The BVN 2.0 classification scheme will help bring more people into the financial system and reduce the financial exclusion rate,” the CBN Governor had said.
What you should know
- Bank Verification Number is a unique number that allows individual accounts to be verified across the Nigerian banking industry.
- The unique ID number is issued to every bank customer at enrolment and linked to every account that the customer has at all Nigerian banks.
- According to NIBSS, the BVN gives bank account owners a unique identity that can be verified across the Nigerian banking industry, while it also ensures that customers’ bank accounts are protected from unauthorised access.