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BVN 2.0 kicks off. What this means

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The Bankers Committee Saturday introduced a classification of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) to fast track the achievement of the financial inclusion goal of 20 percent by 2020.

With this development, the BVN has been classified into two groups —BVN

Premium and BVN Lite.

The committee which comprises the chief executive of banks and senior management of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), also announced fresh steps to stop cyber attacks on Nigerian banks.

The Governor of CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this at a press briefing at the end of the 11th annual Bankers Committee retreat held in Ogere, Ogun State.

Emefiele said the classification marks the second phase of the BVN initiative which was introduced in 2014.

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The BVN is a centralized biometric identification system for the banking industry.

It represents a unique identity for every bank customer that can be verified across the banking industry. Presently, over 40.2 million bank customers have been enrolled and have a BVN.

Emefiele said: “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.

“This entails for instance to reclassify and segregate transactions that could be done on BVN. We have two classifications. The existing BVN that we have in the system has about 18 lines of information.

“We decided that we classify into BVN premium and BVN lite.

“There should also be a system where people who are financially excluded can now be included. If you are on BVN Lite there is a limit to the kind of transactions you can do in terms of deposit and in terms of loans.”

“The important thing is that we want to make you financially included where you can conduct 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.”

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