The number of active bank accounts linked to Bank Verification Number (BVN) as at September 2020 stands at 43.32 million, a report by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NBISS) has shown. The BVN data, falls short of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) target of 100 million customers enrollment on the BVN network in the next 5 years, but was an improvement from about 36 million captured in the last one year.
The the number of new account opening and enrolment on BVN platform by bank customers was attributed to the increasing number of customers opening new accounts and those regularising delinquent accounts following the challenges they faced at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The crowds in banks’ branches have however dropped significantly in recent months, compared to what obtained during the over six-week economic total lockdown. According to the CBN Update released recently, the apex bank said increase in BVN enrollment would address the constraint that poor identification has on the availability of credit to prospective banking customers, particularly, those in the informal sector.
The BVN project, which captures the uniqueness of every bank customer, is one of the most-innovative projects introduced into the Nigerian financial system in 2014. The Bankers’ Committee has also unveiled a new plan that required classification of BVN into two – BVN Premium and BVN Lite.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, said BVN Premium will cover customers that can provide the 18 basic requirements for a complete BVN enrollment, while the BVN Lite will require minimal documentation like name and phone number for bank customers, especially those in the rural areas that do not meet the full requirements.