Lagos banks commence biometric data capture of customers

United Bank for Africa
United Bank for Africa

The initial start off of the exercise would affect about 1,000 selected banks out of the 1,410 branches in Lagos and its environs.


Banks in Lagos will on Monday begin to capture the biometric data of customers.
The data capturing exercise, which is the initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and the Bankers’ Committee is part of the Bank Verification Numbers, BVN and know your customer, KYC, system.

The BVN exercise involves the capturing of an individual’s basic biometric data information, including the facial image, the 10 fingerprints as well as other unique features of the customer.
The system is expected to be adopted as a means of authenticating customer’s identity at the point of banking transactions.

The bank customer would be given a uniform single identity Bank Verification Number, BVN, that would be acceptable across the Nigerian financial system as all other bank accounts operated by the individual would henceforth be tied to that BVN.

The initial start off of the exercise would affect about 1,000 selected banks out of the 1,410 branches in Lagos and its environs.

The Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System, NIBSS, said that the rollout of the exercise as part of the cashless policy of the CBN signified the end of the pilot phase of the project.

Over 7,000 BVNs were issued by 21 deposit money banks, DMBs and the NIBSS to existing bank customer during the pilot phase.

The NIBSS said enrolment and BVN issuance were achieved across 44 bank sites, including 21 bank headquarters.

During the period of verification, bank customers are expected to visit any branch of their bank to complete and submit the BVN enrolment forms after presenting themselves for fingerprinting, facial image capturing, among other requirements.

At the end of the exercise, the customer would be issued an acknowledgment slip, along with a transaction identity card within 24 hours of the automatic system generated BVN, which the customer would be alerted through a text message to pickup.

The CBN has explained that the BVN would ensure accountability, check customer identity theft, reduce exposure to fraud, enhance credit advancement to bank customers, protect bank customers’ account from unauthorised access, and encourage financial inclusion.

“The initiative is in the interest of all Nigerians, to guaranty the safety of the Nigerian financial system,” the Managing Director, NIBSS PLC, Ade Shonubi, said.

Mr. Shonubi said the pilot phase of the BVN registration served as a model and basis for rollout of the solution to all existing bank customers.

“All Nigerian banks have their headquarter servers configured, deployed and tested, while their staff were trained before engaging in enrolment and verification of end users who are mainly internal customers,” he said.

He said feedback from application usage and experience were collated, analysed and shared with solution providers to ensure seamless service delivery during eventual rollout.

At full rollout nationwide, 10,000 enrolment sets would be deployed across 5,000 bank branches, implying deployment of two enrolment sets per bank branch.

Mr. Shonubi said that in line with the commitment of the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee to enlighten Nigerians, the exercise would help close all possible knowledge gaps, and ensure customer education.

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