The Central Bank of Nigeria has said it will get the number of people enrolled on Bank Verification Number system to 100 million over the next five years.
The Nation reports that the apex bank said the increase in BVN enrolment would address the constraint that poor identification has on the availability of credit to prospective banking customers, particularly those in the informal sector.
According to recent figures released by Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems, over 40 million active bank accounts are currently linked with BVN and the CBN had pledged to increase the figures within the next five years through its proactive measures.
The BVN project, which captures the uniqueness of every bank customer, is one of the most-innovative projects introduced into the Nigerian financial system in 2014.
The Bankers’ Committee has also unveiled a new plan that requires classification of BVN into two – BVN Premium and BVN Lite.
CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said BVN Premium will cover customers that can provide the 18 basic requirements for a complete BVN enrolment, while the BVN Lite will require minimal documentation like name and phone number for bank customers, especially those in rural areas that do not meet the full requirements.
This, he said, would enable such grassroots’ customers, mainly the poor, conduct minimal financial services and reduce financial exclusion rate.
The CBN boss said the Bankers’ Committee was collaborating with the Nigerian Communication Commission and Mobile Money Operators to ensure that the project succeeds and more Nigerians brought into the financial system.
Emefiele said the Know Your Customer scheme would be migrated into the BVN Lite.
He said, “However, there are people currently financially excluded, like people in our rural communities that carry phones, but not having financial services. With the collaboration of NCC, we are putting this BVN arrangement to allow them conduct minimal financial services.”