Sunday, 5 April 2015

Banks won’t charge customers for BVN cards –NIBSS

As banks’ customers intensify efforts to enroll for the Bank Verification Number (BVN), the Managing Director of the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Mr. Ade Shonubi, has said that they would not be charged for the BVN cards that would be issued to them on completion of the registration exercise.

The BVN is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in conjunction with the Bankers’ Commit­tee aimed at protecting bank customers from fraud and further strengthening the Nigerian banking system. It will strengthen safety of customers’ funds, prevent losses through compromise of personal identification numbers and other criminal activities in the industry.

The NIBSS boss, who is responsible for the implementation of the BVN said, “we are giving the BVN cards out for free. The cost is borne by the Bankers’ Committee, which considers the whole biometric project very important. They have been bearing the cost; the cost of the cards, cost of almost everything else that has to do with the BVN.”

Shonubi stated that the number of bank customers that have so far obtained their BVN has been quite encouraging, adding that going by the current high level of compliance by customers, he was optimistic that banks will achieve their targets of customer registration.

In a statement from the Bankers’ Committee, he said lenders would soon commence the distribution of the BVN cards, stressing that the cards are ready and are with the banks awaiting collection by customers.

He said: “I have received my BVN card. I would en­courage banks’ customers to talk to their banks as well. They have been printing them and sending them to the banks to distribute to the branches where you have enrolled, you would be sent an SMS. For those that have given email address, it would be sent their emails.”

As part of efforts to encourage enrolment on the BVN, the CBN directed banks to only honour transactions over N100 million from customers with BVN from March 2015. Such transactions, according to the apex bank, include but not limited to, money transfers, loan and contingencies, among others.

The regulator also urged all bank customers to register for their BVN by June 2015, warning that any bank customer without a BVN would be deemed to have inadequate know-your-customers (KYC) by that date. BVN involves the registration of customers in the financial system using biometric technology to make accounts more secure using unique identifiers such as fingerprints and facial images.

Analysts have also described the BVN as a ‘silver-bullet solution’ to many of the challenges in the banking industry. It is a unique identifier for each bank customer across the financial industry, making it possible to build and track customer’s financial history and activity.

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