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What to Know About New CBN Directives on BVN, NIN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued new guidelines regarding Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) and National Identification Numbers (NIN) for bank accounts and wallets. By January 2024, all commercial banks and fintech companies will implement these changes.

Here are the key takeaways from the CBN circular:

Mandatory BVN or NIN for Tier-1 accounts and wallets: All Tier-1 bank accounts and wallets for individuals must have either a BVN or NIN. This requirement is already in place for Tiers 2 and 3 accounts and wallets.

BVN or NIN as primary information for onboarding new customers: Banks and fintech companies must now electronically retrieve BVN or NIN information from the relevant databases (NIBSS for BVN and NIMC for NIN) as the primary information for onboarding new customers. This means that manual customer profile creation followed by BVN or NIN attachment is no longer allowed.

Immediate profiling of existing accounts with validated BVN: All existing customer accounts/wallets with validated BVN will be immediately profiled in the NIBSS' Industry Customer Account Database (ICAD) within 24 hours of the account/wallet opening.

Timeline for implementation: By January 2024, all commercial banks and fintech companies will implement these changes.

Impact on Nigerian customers:

  • Simpler account opening: This will streamline the account opening process and make it faster and more convenient for customers.
  • Improved data accuracy: By using BVN or NIN as the primary information source, banks can ensure the accuracy and completeness of customer data. This will lead to better risk management and fraud prevention.
  • Enhanced security: BVN and NIN are essential for identity verification and authentication. This will enhance the security of financial transactions and protect customers from fraud.

What you need to do:

  • If you already have a Tier-1 account or wallet, ensure that your BVN or NIN is linked to it.
  • If you are opening a new account or wallet, ensure that you have your BVN or NIN readily available.
  • Contact your bank or fintech company if you have any questions about these new requirements.

You can read the full circular here!

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