The rapid and continuous rise in digital transactions opened the market to more fraudulent activities, especially in Nigeria. As a result, the government introduced a biometric identification system called a Bank verification number (BVN). This system exists to reduce and eventually curb fraudulent and illegal banking transactions in Nigeria. The central bank of Nigeria implemented it in line with Act 1958.
What is the meaning of BVN?
Your BVN is a unique 11 digits that is linked to all your bank accounts, and consequentially, all bank transactions. It is essentially like your identity in the banking space and can be used to track your activities across different banks. It requires those who have different bank accounts to link all their accounts to a single BVN after registering for one. BVN uniquely verifies each bank’s customer for “know your customer” purpose.
Having a BVN is currently compulsory to own and operate a bank account in Nigeria. Your bank accounts would be frozen and remain frozen without one. This applies to all types of bank accounts.
Benefits of a BVN
The major benefit of having a BVN is security. However some other exists too. They are:
- Security: your BVN protects all your accounts from unauthorized access.
- Speed: with a BVN, carrying out bank transactions is so much faster.
- Easy tracking: your BVN also makes it easy to track all transactions across all your accounts.
How can I register for BVN?
Registering for your BVN is a pretty simple and straightforward process. Follow the steps below to successfully register:
- Visit your bank with a valid ID card (voter’s card, driver’s license, national ID) and request for a BVN enrollment form
- Fill the form and capture your biometrics; fingerprints and photograph. The bank does your Biometric capturing.
- On completion of biometrics, they would give you a ticket ID
- You should receive your BVN number a few days or less after registration
Many banks today now offer a completely digital process, where you can download the form online. After getting your BVN, the next step is to link it to all your other bank accounts. Simply visit your bank, where they would give you a form to complete the process.
How can I check my BVN details?
You can do this by walking to your bank and requesting from the customer service personnel. An easier way, however, is to simply dial the BVN request code on your mobile phone. This line must be registered with the account in your bank beforehand. The universal code for checking your BVN through a registered line is *565*0#. Dialing this attracts a N20 charge (airtime) on your line.
How can I update my BVN details Online?
After registration and acquiring your BVN number, you can proceed to update it online. To do this:
- log in to your app
- Select the update my BVN option
- Input your BVN and submit
How can I open my BVN online?
To check your BVN online, you must have registered and gotten your unique 11 digits from your bank. Now, to see this number online, simply login into your bank app. Click on the menu option and your BVN should be displayed there. The location of the number, however, varies from one banking app to another. Note that there is no current online platform that you can register or change your BVN on at the time of this writing. Ignore websites that claim to do that, as they are most likely fraudsters.
How can I use my BVN to get a loan?
Getting a loan with your Bvn is not complicated. Most fintech platforms now require your BVN to give you a loan. This is because they can easily track defaulters down and make a case to get back their money. Unlike commercial or microfinance banks, these fintech companies do not require you to complete loan forms or tender collateral. Rather, it’s simply a process of download their app, register, and get an instant loan.
This is one of the advantages of having a BVN. It provides you access to quick loans that you might otherwise not get. Some examples of these companies are:
- Paylater (now Carbon).
- KwikCash (now Migo).
- QuickBucks (powered by access bank).
- Quick Credit (powered by Guaranty Trust Bank).
- Page Financials.
Each of these loan service providers has different requirements, interest rates, tenures, and repayment channels. Some of them allow you to take multiple loans at a time, while others do not. With KiwiCash for example, you can easily access loan services from your USSD. You do not even need a smartphone.
Bvn is a very important and beneficial development in the banking industry. Its ability to create a unique identity for customers has reduced frauds and also simplified loaning processes. Essentially, BVN favours the banks, customers, as well as loan startups looking to access the market. Its three key points are speed, security (protects your account from unauthorized access), and easy tracking of transactions.