Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) records have shown that about 36.8 million bank accounts have been linked to the Bank Verification Number (BVN) as of February 17 this year.
This represents 51 per cent of the total number of active bank accounts, the Nigerian Interbank Settlement Scheme’s records have shown.
The number of active bank accounts, according to the NIBSS data, is 71.79 million. BVN is a unique number for customers of banks in Nigeria, which contains biometric details of customers including the fingerprint of all ten fingers and facial image.
The Central Bank of Nigeria through the Bankers’ Committee and in collaboration with all banks in Nigeria launched a centralised biometric identification system for the banking industry in 2014.
The biometric identification was introduced to address identity theft, reduce exposure to fraud and enhance the banking industry’s chances of being able to fish out blacklisted customers, among others.