The Bank Verification Number (BVN) enrollment deadline is expected to generate a lot of activity in the banking sector, especially as experts have estimated that deposit money banks (DBMs) would need to dedicate about 22,000 of their employees to facilitate the exercise.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set June 2015 as deadline for bank customers to complete the enrollment exercise or face some restrictions on certain transactions.
For instance, officials working on the project said over 20 DMBs in the country have combined branch offices of 5,500 and each of the branch office would need to dedicate about four employees to the registration exercise.
The BVN enrollment, which is ongoing in some banks and their headquarters in Lagos, involves capturing customers’ physiological or behavioural attributes – fingerprint, signature, among others.
The exercise is a continuation of the $50 million biometric project involving the CBN, the Bankers’ Committee, Dermalog and Charms Plc, meant to assign a unique number to every bank customer for enhanced security of transactions.
CBN Director of Banking and Payments Unit, Dipo Fatokun, said in a statement that all bank customers should have their BVN on or before the deadline documentation completion. He said by March, money transfers, loans, contingencies, among others, valued at N100 million and above, would only be allowed for customers with BVN.
Fatokun directed lenders to sensitise their customers on the policy and submit details of compliance to the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS).
The NIBSS will from October 1, 2015 render consolidated returns on the policy to CBN on a weekly basis, while the latter will monitor compliance and sanction defaulting banks accordingly.
To promote the cashless policy, the CBN management has also approved an industry-wide incentive scheme and awareness campaign for cardholders, merchants and salespersons.
Fatokun said the Electronic Payment Incentive Scheme (EPIS) would drive increased usage of electronic payments facilities, adding that the incentive scheme, which rewards and appreciates usage across channels, would further encourage greater adoption of the cashless policy.
According to him, the policy was designed as a “white-label” campaign in which stakeholders were required to partner and focus on the channels of electronic payments, which promote financial inclusion.
Part of the incentive, Fatokun said, included reduction in the Merchant Service Charge (MSC) from 1.25 per cent or N2,000 to 0.75 per cent or a maximum of N1,200 per transaction. The sharing ratio among the participants will be retained, while the implementation date is November 1.
The CBN also approved effective November 1, a free Commission on Turnover (COT) for merchants. Hence, all electronic inflows into the accounts of merchants will be exempted from the calculation of COT at the end of each month.
Source : SunOnline