Central Bank of Nigeria’s biometric registration sees complications

April 14, 2015 - 

The Central Bank of Nigeria said that many customers are either unaware of the upcoming mandatory biometric registration or are experiencing complications, just weeks away from the June deadline for all customers to register for their Bank Verification Number (BVN), according to a report by Naija 247 News.

The biometric registration system was launched in February 2014 by the former CBN governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

The system is designed to create a stronger Know Your Customer (KYC) for banks, reinforce the various security platforms, and allow more increased loans to customers.

Many customers are running into complications during the BVN registration, including the system repeatedly failing to acknowledge the completion of their registration.

The Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System, which coordinates the collection of the biometric data, claims that customers would only have to submit their biometric data at one bank, regardless of how many accounts or banks they use.

However, some customers said they re-registered at each bank they have an account at because the system showed no record of their BVN.

“We still have to take the biometrics so that the data can be synchronized and we are sure that it is the same person who is running both accounts,” said one bank official.

As such, those customers who have active accounts with up to five or more banks would have to register separately at all the banks.

“The issue of registering with more than one bank where you have accounts has been taken up and was discussed today and there are certain solutions that are being worked on,” Citi Bank CEO Omar Hafeez said at the last Bankers Committee Meeting held in Lagos last week. “The objective has always been that you register with one bank and then communicate your BVN number to other banks that you may have accounts with.

“The objective is not that you go to every single bank and go through the process and that is what we are trying to work on. There will be some confusion at first but that will be sorted out. Issues will definitely come up, for example there is also the issue of how to get the BVN for those that do not reside in the country. We are all aware of the issues and we are working towards solutions on a very proactive basis.”

Previously reported, Nigeria’s presidential election was labelled the “cleanest vote ever” in the country’s post-colonial history, despite some mobile fingerprint identification readers experiencing technical difficulties at polling stations.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.