Nigerians React as CBN Introduces Changes to Savings, Current Accounts

Nigerians React as CBN Introduces Changes to Savings, Current Accounts

  • Nigerians have reacted to a recent directive of the CBN mandating bank account holders to link their accounts to their NIN or BVN
  • The apex bank asked commercial banks not to open accounts or wallets without BVN or NIN
  • Nigerians wondered how bank accounts could exist without BVN in the first place

Pascal Oparada has over a decade of experience covering Tech, Energy, Stocks, Investments, and Economy.

Nigerians on social media have expressed mixed feelings about the directives by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) mandating bank account holders to link their accounts to Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) and National Identity Numbers (NINs) for all bank transactions beginning March next year.

The apex bank, in a circular signed by its director of Payment System Management Department, Chibuzo Efomi, and the director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, outlined the implementation of the new policy.

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Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Olayemi Cardoso Credit: @cenbank
Source: Twitter

New bank accounts to have NIN and BVN

The CBN directed banks that, effective immediately, new Tier 1 accounts or wallets can only be opened with BVN or NIN.

The bank said for existing accounts without NIN or BVN, unfunded accounts would be placed on 'Post No Debit or Credit' until the requirements are met.

It stated that beginning March next year, all funded accounts without BVN and NIN would be restricted from transactions.

Many Nigerians took to social media to ask how people can have accounts without BVN.

Nigerians react to CBN policy

"This new NIN requirement for account opening is tricky. It means that if I'm acquiring a customer, I'm doing a two-level check on BVN + NIN, and both have tokenization (two OTPs), which means longer onboarding time. Then, I will need a PII matching script somewhere to validate foundational KYC data, @Abiola_Usman said on X.

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Another X user said:

"Stressful for customers, especially those in the fintech space who are trying to acquire customers. Remember that they still have "TRUST" issues.
"So how do they not to onboard easily? NIN wey get the problem, or is it BVN that people are scared to give you? Sometimes"

@noveverst wrote:

"Bosun won't fix NIN and BVN to work effectively. Give Nigeria the primary data it needs. He is either chasing AI, Telemedicine, or now WhatsApp. Bro, fix Nigeria's data."

Other Nigerians say the citizens are swimming in an ocean of biometrics, wondering when they will be unified.

CBN orders banks to restrict accounts without BVN, NIN earlier reported that the CBN also announced that all funded accounts without a BVN and NIN would be restricted from carrying out from March 1 2024.

This was disclosed in a circular to all commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks and other financial institutions and mobile money operators.

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The December 1, 2023, circular ordered banks to place a "Post No Debit or Credit" on any unfunded account.


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