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Banks begin customer biometric registration This week

The Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS) Plc has disclosed that deposit money banks are set to commence the roll out the Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration of customers by next week. In a statement, NIBSS said the roll out signifies end of the pilot phase of the project during which over 7,000 BVN were issued by 21 deposit money banks and NIBSS to existing internal bank customers. NIBSS stated the enrolments and BVN issuance were achieved across 44 bank sites that include 21 bank headquarters. The inter-bank system is coordinating the project, sponsored by the Bankers’ Committee. The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido, introducing the pilot phase of the BVN project deployment, which was scheduled to run to May 31, 2014 after which full roll out to bank branches was to commence. Commenting on the development, the Managing Director of NIBSS, who doubles as the Head of the BVN Project Management team, Mr. Ade Shonubi, said the pilot phase of the BVN registration of bank customers served as a model and basis for roll out of the solution to existing bank customers. According to him, all Nigerian banks have their headquarter servers configured, deployed and tested, and had their staff trained before engaging in enrolment and verification of end users who are mainly internal customers. He explained: “Feedback from application usage and experience were collated, analysed and shared with solution provider to ensure seamless service delivery during eventual roll out. “We are adopting a phased roll out approach starting with Lagos State. It commences on June 16, 2014, at 1,000 bank branches, after taking out the pilot branches, out of the 1,410 bank branches in the state. Across the nation at full roll out, 10,000 enrolment sets will be deployed across 5,000 bank branches, implying deployment of two enrolment sets per bank branch. “In line with the commitment of the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee to the financial enlightenment of Nigerians, all possible knowledge gaps will be closed through bespoke awareness programmes, customer education and engagement initiatives to ensure massive uptake of BVN by existing bank customers. He further explained that, “the BVN initiative involves the capturing of an individual’s basic biometric data information, which includes the facial image, the 10 fingerprints as well as other unique features of that individual. It will utilise the biometric technology system for verification and secure authentication of the identity of bank customers and ultimately as a means of authenticating customer’s identity at point of banking transactions. “It gives the bank customer a uniform and single identity called the Bank Verification Number (BVN) that will be acceptable across the Nigerian financial system as all other bank accounts operated by this individual will be tied to that BVN.” He noted that the solution was to ensure accountability, check identity theft, reduce exposure to fraud and enhance credit advancement to bank customers, protect bank customers’ account from unauthorised access and also encourage financial inclusion.

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