The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in conjunction with the Bankers’ Commit-tee has commenced Bank Verification Number (BVN) classification plan that will allow the rich and poor in rural areas have access to financial services.
The CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who announced this on Saturday at a press briefing to mark the end of the 11th annual Bankers Committee retreat in Ogere, Ogun state, said the BVN will now be classified into BVN Premium and BVN Lite.
The registration requirement for BVN Lite would be reduced to capture financially excluded customers hence, the transactions to be carried out by such persons would be limited.
“We now have about 40 million people on the BVN platform. We think that because of the benefits of the BVN to bank customers and the economy there is a need to consolidate and move BVN to a new level, something like 2.0,” he said.
“What it entails is to reclassify and segregate transactions that can be held by BVN. For instance, we have two classifications. The existence BVN requirement that we have in the system has almost about 18 lines of information that are required, and where your 10 prints and fingers are taken to ensure that all transactions that you take are within the banking system.
“We have decided to classify that as BVN classic and BVN premium. But we agreed that there should also be a system where people who are today financially excluded can now be financially included. Here, we are talking about creating another segment called BVN Lite.
“Here, minimal information about the person will be held. What is means is that if you are classified a BVN Lite, then there is a limit to the kind of transactions you can conduct in the banking sector, maybe in terms of deposit or loans.”
According to Emefiele, the BVN Lite would allow people in rural areas to assess basic banking services.
“There are people who are 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 to conduct minimal financial services.
“It should be possible for us to migrate this person into the BVN Lite arrangement where they can conduct minimal financial services, not just banking services, but minimal financial services, insurance and anything you want to conduct in terms of finance whether electronic payment or anything, you can do it with the aid of your phone.
“Some of our brethren that are doing the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme or the Social Investment Programme, we believe we can use the BVN Lite as an arrangement so that everybody can be financially included.
“Now as you bring them into the financial system, what it will do is that it will help to increase our rate of financial inclusion and reduce the exclusion rate.”
The CBN governor also announced that the Bankers Committee has gotten presidential approval to give the National Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos, a facelift adding that repair works will begin in 2020.
The BVN is a biometric identification system that was introduced in 2014 to ensure that every bank customer can be verified across the banking industry.