With effect from September 2014, bank customers across the country may be asked to switch over to a new signatory verification portal being developed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for use by all banks.
The new portal is one of the efforts the CBN is adopting in furtherance of its commitment to the development of a safe, reliable and efficient system in the country.
The new portal is being developed in collaboration with the Bankers Committee and other relevant industry stakeholders. The CBN said the new signatories’ verification portal would replace the existing printed signature booklets that banks distribute for customers to complete on opening accounts.
Such booklets contain authenticated signature of the customer that banks can use to confirm instructions/ documents received from other banks for verification of payments.
With the new industry portal, bank customers would be able to verify such authorized signatures and instructions electronically (online) throughout the country’s banking system.
According to the CBN, the new portal would be used by banks, Registrars, Insurance Companies, Embassies and other users of the printed signature booklets for various transactions to avoid fabrication of letters as coming from the banks.
The portal, the CBN said, is meant to digitalize the signature booklet and also ensure that updates are made quickly as staff change functions or move to other institutions.
To ensure a seamless transition to the new digital system, the CBN said it has already directed all banks to liaise with the managers of the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) PLC, which provides the infrastructure for automated processing settlement of payments and funds transfer instructions, for the required training and access rights to the portal, amongst others.
The CBN said the registration process and uploading of the authorized signatories to the portal is expected to be completed on or before August 29 2014.