- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a 30-day ultimatum to Nigerian banks to close bank accounts without BVN
- According to the apex bank, the directive is aimed at promoting safer, more reliable, and more efficient banking and payment systems
- Data from the NIBSS showed that 57.39 million customers’ accounts have been linked to their BVNs as at April 8, out of over 190 million bank accounts
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a 30-day ultimatum to Nigerian banks to close bank accounts without Bank Verification Number (BVN).
The deadline is contained in CBN's Regulatory Framework for Bank Verification Number (BVN).
How the account closing will work
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This requires using the customer’s BVN generated after his/her enrollment to link accounts/wallets to which he or she is a signatory, after validation.
Part of the framework reads:
"No new account/wallet shall be allowed to operate without BVN (except inflows), however, any account/wallet without BVN shall be closed within 30 days."
CBN also said the BVN shall be delinked upon the approval of the Chief Audit Executive of the customer’s bank.
It said delinking of customers’ BVN from accounts/wallets involves removing the BVN of a signatory (except for Directors/Beneficial owners) that is linked to an account/wallet.
“This delinking is for corporate or joint accounts and for activities not associated with breaches. Returns on delinked accounts/wallets (except Tier 1) shall be rendered to the Director, Payments System Management Department on a monthly basis."
"Also, Where there is no linked account, a nil report should be submitted while fraud management is a process aimed at using BVN to deter, prevent, detect and mitigate the risks of fraud in the banking industry."
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Meanwhile, in another report, CBN is preparing to issue guidelines to promote the safe and efficient use of contactless payments in Nigeria.
Guidelines cover technical and operational requirements, security measures, and standards for issuing and accepting contactless payment.
The move is part of the CBN's effort to modernise the cashless payment policy in the country.