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Business News of Wednesday, 4 January 2023


Nigerian banks recorded 4.8 million BVN registrations in 2022

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Banks in Nigeria recorded a total of 4.8 million new Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) in 2022, according to the data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

This brought the total number of registered BVNs in the country to 56.5 million. As of December 2021, the BVN database stood at 51.7 million.

The 2022 figure showed a slowdown in the BVN database growth compared with 2021 when the database had increased by 6 million from 45.7 million in December 2020 to 51.7 million.

BVN vs number of accounts: According to NIBSS, active bank accounts in the country stood at 133.5 million as of December 2021. While data for 2022 has yet to be released, the figure is expected to be higher than that of the preceding year, which shows that there is still a wide gap between the registered BVN and the number of bank accounts.

However, industry analysts believe that factoring in the fact that multiple accounts can be linked to a single BVN, the difference may not be much.

Why it is important: Bank Verification Number 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 unauthorised access. Emphasising the security benefits of the BVN, NIBSS stated:

“With the increasing incidents of compromise on conventional security systems (password and PIN), there is a high demand for greater security for access to sensitive or personal information in the Banking System. In recent times, biometric technologies have been used to analyze human characteristics as an enhanced form of authentication for real-time security processes.”