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Banks in Nigeria to begin collecting personal identifiable information from customers - fingerprints, photos, etc
| June 16, 2014
As part of the process to roll out Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) to customers, banks in Nigeria will start capturing personal identifiable information such as fingerprint, frontal face pictures and other unique features. Bank Verification Numbers will allow for the verification and authentication of a bank customer's identity and will give the customer a uniform and single identity that will be acceptable across the financial system in Nigeria. This Bank Verification Number rollout is part of the phased approach that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has adopted for the implementation of its Know Your Customer (KYC) and cashless policy. The BVN roll out will start in Lagos State and will be followed by a nationwide roll-out. To get the BVN, a bank customer will need to get and complete a BVN enrolment form from their bank and then have their personal data captured - fingerprints, facial photos, etc. After the data has been captured, the customer should receive an acknowledgment slip with a transaction ID and within 24 hours the application should be confirmed and a BVN will be generated for the customer and he/she will receive a notification by SMS. Once a BVN has been issued, as all bank accounts in different banks, in Nigeria, operated by the customer will be tied to the BVN. Speaking about the project, a spokesperson for the BVN roll-out team 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. All Nigerian banks have their headquarters servers configured, deployed and tested, and had their staff trained before engaging in enrolment and verification of end users who are mainly internal customers. Feedback from application usage and experience were collated, analyzed and shared with solution provider to ensure seamless service delivery during eventual roll-out." âWe 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.â âThe BVN initiative involves the capturing of an individualâs basic biometric data information which includes the facial image, the 10fingerprintsas well as other unique features of that individual. It will utilize the biometric technology system for verification and secure authentication of the identity of bank customers and ultimately as a means of authenticating customerâs identity at point of banking transactions. âIt gives the bank customer a uniform and single identity called the BVN that will be acceptable across the Nigerian Financial System as all other Bank accounts operated by this individual will be tied to the BVN.

(2) Comment


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Ola    ilorin, Nigeria    June 19, 2014
This should work ,after the same is being implimented at landmark university (
"Coming In From The Cold"    In California, U.S.A.    June 17, 2014
I'm not sure how this BVN will work or if it will work at all, especially when it depends on computer servers that need uninterrupted electricity. I believe "all" the banks have backup generators which should make it work.

I just came back from Nigeria (Lord I hate going there but my mom is still alive and MUST go there) and I witnessed some of the "NEPA-out-Gen-in" or GEN-out-NEPA-in (hallelujah) episodes while at my bank. I still prefer to use the word "NEPA" instead of PHCN because it's a lot easier to form many other words with NEPA; like NEPAl, or NEPA-lize or NEPA-lization or NEPA-lity, etc. you get the idea â have a sense of humor.

Sometimes it can take up to two to three minutes or more for lights to come back on after a NEPArious (nefarious) electrical moment or activity. Only God knows what will happen to information being processed at any time there are sudden blackout episodes like that.

If I may ask, wouldn't the National Identification Number (NatiNu - what's your NATINU?) or National Security Number (NaSeNu- show me your NA-SE-NU) have been adequate to serve the same purpose as the Social Security Number in America for identification or other purposes, whether for banking or something else?

What's the use of a number or the BVN which will only serve for banking or the financial system? What number will someone use for other purposes, e.g., that will connect with your Driver's License in any State or Nigerian passport, or to establish credit in the future, or to buy a car at a dealership, or to use in connection with your WAEC or JAMB, or NECO identification, etc.?

Why don't we just adopt a system that can be used for almost everything rather than just create a number only for banking? What happened to our National ID project? I am not sure if that is still continuing or not. Some people got numbers and some did not get or cannot get anymore. What is wrong? This ID number project was started many years ago during the time of Akinloye (or AKINLOLE - meaning Akin-na-thief ). I remember the money allocated was embezzled. It died a little death and was again revived. Has it died again? Why do we treat projects like nine days' wonders?

We should stop acting like nincompoops if we are not, starting something and not finishing it up or starting something and letting it die an un-natural death.

Now, mails are not being delivered anymore in many areas in Nigeria. Some homes don't have numbers and some don't even have street names (I know because my mom's home is like that - no street name, no number; no address). There is no more potable or pipe-borne water in many areas as the government doesn't rig up pipes anymore. Now we only dig wells, boreholes for those who can afford them or hand-dug wells for the rest. Only God knows what we are doing to the ecosystem. Our underground water is being seriously polluted but no one cares. There is danger looming due to this mentality to abandon.

Almost everything is becoming obsolete or moribund. Do we know how to abandon things or what? Where is the Nigerian Airways today? And we are blaming Delta or United Airlines for taking advantage of Nigerians? You can see how expensive it is to just change your flight.

Who do you blame, other than those looters who don't give a damn about anything but their immediate families? When will it end and when will we start real progress.

The British set us up on a failing course and we have made it worse for ourselves. Look at all the countries ruled by Britain; they are all in a mess - bad city plans and ugly road system. Look at their roads in London; narrow, ugly and unsystematic. Would you expect anything better where they ruled? Hell No! That's why America quickly drove them away before they could install their monarchy on them.

But I don't blame them beyond 1960 when we drove them away and got our independence. But what have we done since then to erase them off - Nada, Zero, Zilch!

We did not allow the smart people or leaders who fought for independence to have a foothold on ruling us right. They were quickly dislodged by Nzeogwu and his coup plotters. Nigeria has never known stability since then.

It's not about what people did or do to you; it's about what you are doing about it. We have made matters worse for ourselves but we must change it now.

Nigeria needs an abrupt change to drive away these monstrous looters immediately. I believe in democracy but for now in Nigeria, the change that we need is not going to come by way of democracy if we want immediate change. A systematic change will take too long as the looters will continue to have time to perfect their ways to defeat any intended change.

Nigeria jaga-jaga, everything skata-skata, Gbosa! Gbosa! Who shall we send and who is going to do it?
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