The Bank Verification Number (BVN) is a Biometric technology with a secure unique identifier to analyze human characteristics as an enhanced form of authentication for real-time security processes.
An initiative of the NIBSS to improve the security of the customers of Nigerian financial institutions, the BVN is a unique 11-digit identification number that can be verified across all financial institutions in Nigeria. A customer’s bank verification number is mapped to the individual’s biological traits: * Finger Print * Signature * Facial photograph captured at the point of enrollment.
As of March 2023, about 57 million Nigerians have unique BVNs, which are intrinsic to every individual whose profile has been captured. The BVN database is the most reliable and comprehensive data source in the Nigeria Financial Industry.
The emergence of BVN
The prevalence of financial crimes in Nigeria demanded that policymakers develop a more robust means to secure funds in bank accounts. The Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Bankers Committee, launched the Bank Verification Number in February 2014 to implement a centralised Bank Verification System.
BVN validates and verifies the customers’ identities seamlessly across multiple interoperable electronic platforms. The database is searched to display relevant information about an individual; this is called bio-data (it includes names, phone numbers, addresses, and dates of birth).
Benefits of the BVN
- It gives a unique identity that can be verified across the Nigerian Banking Industry (not peculiar to one Bank)
- Customers’ Bank Accounts are protected from unauthorized access
- It will address issues of identity theft, thus reducing exposure to fraud
- The bank verification number will enhance the Banking Industry’s chances of being able to fish out blacklisted customers
- Reduce queues in Banking Halls
- Standardized efficiency of Banking operations
- The Customers unique bank verification number is accepted as a means of identification across ALL Nigerian Bank
What you need to know about BVN
- A unique ID number shall be issued to every Bank customer at enrolment and linked to every account the customer has in ALL Nigerian Banks. Individuals shall be required to submit an acceptable means of identification as prescribed for enrolment.
- Customers of banks shall be required to enrol within a fixed period, after which they shall no longer be able to operate their Bank accounts; capturing of all ten (10) fingers and facial images will be adopted
- For authentication purposes, individuals performing banking transactions (e.g. applying for loans) must identify themselves using their biometric features, which will be matched against information in the central database.
- Update of customer information shall be done at their Bank Branches physically. Banks shall be prompted during account opening and credit check if ANY Nigerian Bank has blacklisted a customer.
- An individual’s number and unique features shall be used with a PIN at a point of transaction.
Read More; BVN enrolments in Nigeria hit 54 million
How to Enroll
- Walk into any branch of your Bank.
- Fill out and submit the bank verification number Enrolment form.
- Present yourself for data capturing (such as Fingerprint, facial Image etc.)
- An acknowledgement slip with the transaction ID is issued to you.
- Within 24 hours, the system confirms your application, your BVN is generated, and you receive an SMS for pickup.
How to check and update your BVN online
You can safely confirm and update your information via the NIBSS platform. Hence, you don’t need to go to the bank if you’re inquiring about how to check your name, birthdate, and phone number or if you need to make corrections.
Via the NIBSS Validation Portal, you may quickly view and confirm your information. But, there are prerequisites before you can access data like name, contact details, or address.
NIBBS is effecting certain changes to improve the data privacy of the banking public. The Consent of BVN holders would now be verified before their BVN information is returned.
- Consent would be obtained using a NIBSS Platform and involves a token dispatched to the holder’s registered email or phone number.
- The holder must be available to provide this token to confirm consent and complete the validation.
- Consent verification would commence immediately after payment is made.
- Validation of multiple BVNs would no longer be supported.
You can check your BVN status by following the steps listed below
- Log in to the NIBSS BVN validation portal here.
- Type in your bank verification number and your date of birth used during registration.
- Tap the search button.
- You should get a list of options to select your preferred means of payment and pay the ₦25 verification fee.
- Once you’ve completed the payment process, you’ll be taken to a page detailing your information.
Note that you’ll discover your phone number and other information on the last page. For later use, you should print it out or create a screenshot.
Some banks allow customers to update their contact information online, especially their phone numbers. But such customers will need to use the bank’s provided communication channels to contact its customer support department. The representative in charge of customer support often inquires about some of the below details:
- Your BVN Number
- The full name used to register for the bank verification number
- The date of birth used for the registration
- Your National Identification Number (NIN)
- Your desired new mobile number
However, be careful not to fall victim to online fraud by providing your personal information to a fake account or anyone who disguises themself to help.
Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!