NBanks 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).
The total number of registered Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) in the country during the period under review rose to 56.5 million. This, according to the NIBSS shows a significant increase compared to 51.7 million registered BVNs registered as of December 2021.
However, the NIBSS observed that the 2022 figure indicated a slowdown in the BVN database growth compared with 2021 when the database had increased by six million from 45.7 million in December 2020 to 51.7 million.
NIBSS said active bank accounts in the country stood at. While data of active bank accounts for 2022 are yet to be released, the NIBSS said the figure is expected to be higher than 133.5 million of the preceding year, which shows that there is still a wide gap between the registered BVN and the number of bank accounts.
Industry analysts however argued that the difference may not be much, considering that multiple accounts can be linked to a single BVN.
Bank Verification Number is a unique number that allows individual accounts to be verified across the Nigerian banking industry. The unique ID numberis 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 that 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.
It added that in recent times, biometric technologies have been used to analyse human characteristics as an enhanced form of authentication for real-time security processes.