The Central Bank of Nigeria in association with the banker’s committee – Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) launched a centralized biometric identification system on 14th February 2014 for the banking industry in accordance to the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 1958 to reduce fraud in the banking sector. Through the system, a special number labeled as the Bank Verification Number (BVN) is uniquely generated for an individual customer of one or more of the banks in Nigeria. This single number connects all of the person’s bank accounts in every one of the banks in which he/she owns an account.
Why The BVN is Important
- Bank accounts of customers are protected from unauthorized access.
- It tackles cases of identity theft and consequently cuts out the exposure to fraud.
- The biometric identification system employed to increase the odds of the Banking Industry in being able to fish out blacklisted customers.
- It exposes fraudulent accounts and unusual financial activities on an individual’s bank account.
- The BVN system standardizes the efficiency of banking operations.
- Great reduction in banking hall queueing.
- Individual bank customer will under the system posses a unique BVN which is accepted as a means of identification across all Nigerian banks.
How To Check For Your BVN
- You can walk to the bank with the Transaction ID issued to you when you enrolled for the BVN
- You can check your Bank Verification Number BVN directly on your phone using a USSD code that is available on all the mobile networks for all of the banks in Nigeria – that is Access, Diamond, Ecobank, Enterprise, FCMB, Fidelity, First Bank, GTBank, Heritage, IBTC, Jaiz, Keystone, UBA, Union, Unity, Stanbic Skye, Sterling, Wema, and Zenith.
How To Check For Your BVN Using Mobile Phones By USSD Method
If you are looking to check for or retrieve your BVN without visiting the bank or using the ATM
MAKE SURE THE NUMBER USED IN DIALING THE CODE IS THE ONE ASSOCIATED TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT.
Check BVN number with your mobile phone on the various mobile networks MTN, Airtel, GLO or 9Mobile (Etisalat) network by;
- With the line registered on your bank account dial *565*0#
- Wait for a few seconds for the NIBSS to respond with your 11-digits BVN
- There is a charge of twenty Naira only #20.00 attached to the inquiry.
- You can check for your unique BVN on your mobile banking apps but this requires an Internet connection.
Without the BVN you are likely to be faced with the following:
- Halted transactions on your account because you are yet to update your bank account with your BVN (Bank Verification Number).
- Inability to transfer funds or carry out certain online transactions using your bank account.
As a result of the increase in the rate of compromise on the bank security system with the use of passwords, PIN and OTP, the BVN which uses a biometric system of verification is the effective and efficient step required for extra security checks to secure private and personal details or transactions in the banking sector in Nigeria.
How To Get Your Unique Bank Verification Number BVN
In case you are yet to have your own BVN, here is the quick and easy way to register for BVN in Nigeria!
- Enter any bank branch that is closest to you (preferably a bank where you already own or where you want to open an account)
- Request for their BVN enrolment form
- Fill and submit the BVN form
- Go through their biometric data capturing procedure (fingerprinting, facial image capturing)
- You will be issued with an acknowledgment slip that carries a set of numbers called the transaction ID. Keep the slip in a safe place.
- In a matter of minutes you will be given your BVN directly and/or within an hour or 2 the BVN will be sent to your mobile via the phone number linked to your account.
- Proceed to link the BVN to all your account numbers.
For the sake of security, do not reveal your BVN to any unauthorized persons, you should never input it online especially on unknown sites nor should you ever regard spam text messages that ask for your BVN in order not to have your accounts at risk.