By Rosemary Onuoha
LAGOS — Over 19 million bank customers have been registered under the ongoing Bank Verification Number, BVN, exercise taking place in the banking industry, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has said.
Director, Banking and Payment System of the CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, who disclosed this, appealed to all bank customers to register and get their BVN before the October 31 deadline because the CBN will be strict with the deadline.
Fatokun said: “Over 19 million bank customers have been issued BVN. What we are doing now is to move round the banks to see how they are doing and those that are complying. The campaign from the CBN is that Nigerians should go and enrol for the BVN, that is why we are going to be very strict with the deadline.
“Please, bank customers don’t have to wait till October 31. By beginning of October, it will be 30 days left to the deadline and those that don’t enrol will not be allowed access to their accounts.”
Fatokun said with BVN, fraudulent activities in the banking industry would be put to check.
“When we get to the cut-off date, any account that does not have BVN cannot receive or take out money. So, if you are a fraudster and you try to transfer money into an account that doesn’t have BVN, the system will reject it. Now, if you are a fraudster and you transfer money into an account that has BVN, then we know you. It is going to engender transparency in the banking industry,” he added.
Fatokun, however, identified apathy, poor infrastructure as key challenges confronting e-payment system in the country, adding that the initiative is facing some resistance as a result of prevailing cash culture, where people preferred to transact business with cash rather than electronic system of payment which is safer and convenient.
He, however, said that the bank is picking up the pace to confront the identified challenges to enhance smooth operation of the system, even as efforts are on to get rid of fraud arising from e-payment transactions.