Was it really worth the stress? Standing for long hours on the queue and most times under the hot sun just to get registered. I really believe it was worth it. If you have been following up on updates regarding this project, you will totally appreciate it and applaud the brains behind it.
You would recall that the Bank Verification Number project was launched on the 14th of February 2014 (what an act of love for that day) by the past CBN governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi and what seemed like a failed project surprisingly gained momentum and full implementation in 2015. Many of us frowned at the idea and did not just understand the reason for the stress.
The basic aim of this project is to put a check to fraud, protect customers and further strengthen the banking system. It is a biometric process in the sense that it records physical features which are peculiar to individuals-the fingerprints and face. Now, this is the interesting part of this activity; once you are registered in a particular bank, your information is taken and stored in a database from which other banks can access. As a matter of fact, there is what is called “PND” in banks which stands for “Post No Debit”. When this memo is placed on an account, it simply means no form of debit should be carried on in that account and by debit I mean withdrawal. It has become a grand rule that any account without a BVN must have this “PND” memo placed on it.
For our very “sharp guys” who run accounts in diverse banks using different information, this has suddenly become a trap for them. This is because an information captured by a particular bank during the registration process is saved and will replicate when the number is inputted in another bank. Which simply means that if you are bearing “Mr Rafeal in Bank A and Mr Thomas in Bank B, once you register in Bank A, you won’t be able to submit that BVN in Bank B for your account to be updated; meaning you have to forfeit the account in Bank B since there will be no BVN to run the account.
The policy has yielded so much results and helped the CBN better manage and protect customers transactions so much more that the registration process for Nigerians abroad has once again, been extended to June 30, 2016. I really applaud this initiative but deep down my mind, I have one small question to ask…
What happens to the recovered “fraudulent funds” that will be in these customers account? Will they become the banks other income or would they be remitted to the Central Bank of Nigeria? Every dime right now means a lot to us and so we must use it judiciously.