The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that banks should not release the Bank Verification Number (BVN) information to applicants, unless on the orders of a court.
The new directive of the apex bank is sequel to an amendment to the regulatory framework for Bank Verification Number (BVN) operations and watch-list for the Nigerian financial system by the CBN on Tuesday.
According to a circular to deposit money banks, switches, money operators, and payment solution service providers, microfinance banks and others, signed by Dipo Fatokun, director, banking and payments system department, the amendment takes immediate effect.
Section 1.6 of the framework: Eligibility for access to the BVN, which states that, “the following entities may have access to BVN information subject to approval of the CBN”, has been amended to read, “the following entities may have access to BVN information after providing a valid court order, subject to approval of the CBN”.
The objectives of the Regulatory Framework for BVN Operations in Nigeria include, to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, to clearly define the Bank Verification Number operations in Nigeria; to outline the process/operations of the watch-list; and to Define access, usage and ownership of the BVN data, requirements and conditions.
The CBN in collaboration with the Bankers Committee proactively embarked upon the deployment of a centralized Bank Verification system and launched the Bank Verification Number (BVN), in February, 2014.
This is part of the overall strategy of ensuring effectiveness of Know Your Customer (KYC) principles, and promotion of safe, reliable and efficient payments system.
The BVN gives each customer of Nigerian banks, a unique identity across the banking Industry.