BVN enrolment jumps by 1.75 million in four months – NIBSS  

BVN enrolment jumps by 1.75 million in four months – NIBSS  

Data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) have revealed that registration for the Bank Verification Number (BVN) increased by 1.75 million in the last four months plus a few days in May.  

The BVN database, which stood at 61.16 million as of March 15, 2024, jumped to 61.87 million by the middle of May, according to NIBSS data. As of December 2023, the BVN database stood at 60.11 million.  

Source: NIBSS 

 

While registration for the number was slow throughout 2023, the recent announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that all bank accounts without BVN would be frozen from April 2024 might have contributed to the increase in registration over the last two months. 

In December 2023, the apex bank also directed commercial, merchant, non-interest, payment service banks, other financial institutions, and mobile money operators, through a circular that the BVN or National Identification Number (NIN) attached to all accounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024. 

Bank accounts vs BVN  

Meanwhile, the number of active bank accounts in the country shows that there is still a very wide gap between the number of accounts and the number of BVN, which is now a compulsory requirement for opening an account.

According to the recent banking data released by NIBSS, the number of active bank accounts in Nigeria stood at 219.6 million in March 2024. 

Going by the current number of BVNs, there is a gap of about 157.8 million between the number of accounts and the registered BVNs. However, industry analysts believe that the difference may not be much given that multiple accounts can be linked to a single BVN.   

According to Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2023 Survey report, 5% (3 million) of banked adults do not have a BVN or NIN. 

What you should know 

A BVN is a unique number that allows individual accounts to be verified across the Nigerian banking industry.  

The unique ID number is issued to every bank customer at enrolment and linked to every account that the customer has at all Nigerian banks.  According to NIBSS, the BVN gives bank account owners a unique identity that can be verified across the Nigerian banking industry, while it ensures that customers’ bank accounts are protected from unauthorized access. 

According to the recent directives from the CBN, every financial account, including that of fintechs, must now be linked with BVN before it can be operational.  

 


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