29.4m customers yet to be captured on BVN platform


…As CBN identifies bottlenecks hampering e-payment system

Stories by Blaise Udunze

BARELY two months to the deadline for the customers’ registration for the Bank Verification Number (BVN) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), over 29.4million customers are yet to be captured in the on-going exercise across the country.

Daily Sun findings showed that of 48,389,614 active accounts in the banking industry only 19million accounts have been linked with BVN, despite the 4 months extension given by CBN from June 31.

Director, Banking and Payment System, CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, who disclosed this in a presentation at the bi-monthly forum organised by the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), at the weekend said that a total of 19 million bank customers have so far registered for the BVN.

He therefore urged bank customers that are yet to register to do so before the October 31, deadline.

“As at last week, over 19 million bank customers have been issued BVN. What we are doing now is moving round the banks to see how they are doing and those that are complying. The campaign from the CBN is that Nigerians should go and enroll for the BVN that is why we are going to be very strict with the deadline. “Please, bank customers don’t have to wait till this date,” Fatokun, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Banking and Payment System Department, Musa Itokpa Jimoh advised.

He stressed that with BVN, there would no longer be a hiding place for fraudsters. “Why we have not caught anybody is because we have not got to the cut-off date. When we get to the cut-off date, any account that does not have BVN cannot receive and cannot take out money. “So, if you are a fraudster and you try to transfer money into an account that doesn’t have BVN, the system will reject it. Now, if you are a fraudster and you transfer money into an account that has BVN, then we know you. It is going to engender transparency in the banking industry,” he added.

He also identified absence of a unique identifier, apathy and poor infrastructure as key challenges confronting e-payment system in the country.

Fatokun hinted that the bank was picking up the pace to confront the identified challenges, including poor infrastructure to enhance smooth operation of the system.

He also said that efforts are on to get rid of fraud arising from e-payment transactions.

The Director said the project identified agriculture, smart cities, health, transportation, hotels, entertainment, government flow, education and Consumer Bill Payment as well as direct debits as focus areas.

He explained that the absence of a unique identifier in the banking industry has negative consequences on the growth of e-payments and that it was the need to resolve the challenge that prompted the CBN, in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee to launch the Bank Verification Number (BVN) project.

The project, he said, will help build confidence of customers on the e-payment channels and enhance integrity of transactions.

“The BVN initiative is aimed at protecting bank customers and further strengthening the Nigerian banking system by uniquely identifying all bank customers and acts as a stop-gap, prior to the full implementation of the National Identity Card system,” he said.

Meanwhile, the CBN has mandated all banks, switches and processors to comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCIDSS) and subsequently conducted an oversight on compliance, which showed that most banks had been certified.

Source : SunOnline

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