The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released a statement clarifying that the Bank Verification Number (BVN) is for life, after reports claimed that the BVN had a ten-year validity period. The BVN is a biometric identification system designed to capture and store the biometric data of bank customers. This system makes it easier for banks to identify and verify their customers. The CBN introduced the BVN in 2014 to enhance the security of electronic banking in Nigeria.
In a statement signed by the CBN’s spokesperson, Isa Abdulmumin, the apex bank said that reports suggesting that the BVN expires after ten years are incorrect. According to the statement, once a customer’s biometrics have been captured and enrolled in the database of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), the BVN remains valid for life.
The statement went on to clarify that while the BVN has no expiry date, customers can only change their records due to certain conditions spelt out in the regulatory framework for BVN issued by the CBN in 2021. The CBN further noted that such changes must be cleared by relevant authorities.
The clarification by the CBN comes amid reports that some bank customers have been receiving text messages from their banks, asking them to update their BVN details or risk being barred from accessing banking services. The CBN statement appears to have put an end to such concerns, reassuring bank customers that their BVN remains valid for life.
The BVN has become an important tool for enhancing the security of electronic banking in Nigeria. It has helped to curb cases of identity theft, fraud, and other forms of financial crimes in the country. The system has also made it easier for banks to verify the identity of their customers, reducing the risk of money laundering and other illicit activities.
The CBN’s clarification on the validity of the BVN is expected to provide further assurance to bank customers, especially those who may have been worried about the expiry of their BVN. The apex bank has urged customers to continue to protect their BVN and avoid sharing their personal information with unauthorized persons.