31.4 Million Customers Captured In BVN, Says CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria says it has captured not less than 31 million account customers in its Bank Verification Number (BVN) project aimed at ensuring unique identifier in the Nigerian banking industry.
Dipo Fatokun, CBN Director, Banking and Payment System disclosed this while delivering a paper titled, `Nigeria’s progress towards the creation of a robust, trusted and inclusive Financial Services Environment’ at the annual meeting of the ID4Africa movement in Abuja.
“As at December 2017, the implementation of the project recorded 31,426,091 registered BVNs and 43,959,282- accounts linked with BVN,’’Fatokun said
He also said: “To address the absence of a unique identifier in the Nigerian banking industry and to facilitate the creation of inclusive financial services environment, the CBN in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee launched the BVN Project on February 14, 2014, with biometric solution, as a unique identifier for all bank customers.
“The objectives include the following: increase access, convenience, service levels across the industry; enable greater financial inclusion and integration of financial services into the economy, with its attendant positive impact on economic development.”
Fatokun also said the BVN was also targeted at promoting safe and sound financial system in the country.
He said: “Most importantly, it has created avenues for people who cannot write regular signature to make financial transactions, thus, facilitating financial inclusion.
Fatokun explained that the BVN was part of the Federal Government’s strategy towards accelerating financial inclusion in the country.
Fatokun also gave a number of factors as barriers to financial inclusion among Nigerians.
“The identified barriers to financial inclusion include lack of income, long distance to access points, lack of knowledge about financial services, high cost of services and cumbersome requirements for account opening.
“In order to achieve the set target, and to address the aforementioned barriers, different measures and initiatives were put in place by the CBN.
“To address the cumbersome documentation requirement for account opening, the CBN introduced the Three-tiered Know-Your-Customer in 2013, which was modified in July, 2016.
“The three-tiered KYC guideline allows individuals who may not meet the formal identification requirements and in banks to operate and enjoy banking services within defined thresholds.
“The simplification consists of lowering the account opening requirements and less-paper documentation in exchange for lower threshold.
“The CBN T-KYC is one of the initiatives for improving financial inclusion in Nigeria to facilitate easy access to a broad range of formal financial services.”