The federal government has disclosed its plan to link bank customers’ bank verification numbers (BVN) with their national identity card data from next year.
Managing Director, Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) Mr. Ade Shonubi, disclosed this in a paper presented at the ongoing workshop for financial journalists organised by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) in Ilorin, yesterday.
Shonubi, who was represented by the Chief Risk Officer, NIBSS, Mr. Osioke Ojior, spoke on “Managing Risks of e-Banking.”
He said the move would further strengthen efficiency in Nigeria’s payment system.
According to the NIBSS boss, the objective of the BVN is to use biometric information as a means of first identifying and verifying all individuals that have account(s) in any Nigerian bank and consequently, as a means of authenticating customer’s identity at the point of transactions.
The BVN scheme was launched in 2014. Shonubi noted that the benefits of the BVN project include credit check, know-your-customer, fraud management and transaction authentication. However, he listed categories of risks in the payment system to include strategic, preventable and external.
Meanwhile, in his presentation, the Director, Banking and Payment System Department, CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, put the total number of agents enrolled in the mobile money sub-sector as at September 30, 2015, at 98,158. Also, the total number of mobile money subscribers as at the end of September was put at 24,389,263, with total volume of transactions at 76,952,409 and transaction value at N815,464,917,062.94.
Fatokun, pointed out that in Nigeria, as well as other developing countries, majority of the unbanked population have rely on cash or informal financial services which are typically unsafe, inconvenient and expensive.
Fatokun, whose paper was presented by an Assistant Director at the CBN, Mr. Olusola Agboola, said the CBN, noted the rapid growth of mobile telephony in Nigeria (over 120 million subscribers, according to the Nigerian Communication Commission), and the fact that majority of the unbanked have access to mobile phones. This, he said led to the adoption of mobile money in the country.
“One of the cardinal objectives of introducing mobile money in Nigeria is to stimulate financial inclusion. Financial inclusion enables underserved people and communities to have access to financial services that would enhance their economic opportunities; boost productivity in various sectors and, contribute to economic growth,” he added.