Continuous registration for the Biometric Verification Number (BVN) by bank account owners in the country has pushed the BVN database to 55 million as of July 31, 2022. This is according to the data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).
As of May 29, 2022, NIBSS data showed that the BVN database stood at 54.7 million. This means that about 300,000 registrations were recorded in the last two months (June and July). The data also shows that a total of 3.3 million new BVN registrations have been recorded so far this year, judging by 51.7 million recorded by December-end 2022.
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.
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 ensures that customers’ bank accounts are protected from unauthorised access.
- In its bid to encourage more Nigerians to register for the BVN, the CBN 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.