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02.12.2023 Featured What to Know About New CBN Directives on BVN, NIN

Published 2nd Dec, 2023

By Joseph Adeiye

The Payments System Management Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a circular to all commercial banks in Nigeria on Friday.

That circular spelt out amendments to Section 1.5.3 of the Regulatory Framework for Bank Verification Number (BVN) Operations and Watchlist for the Nigerian banking industry.

Banks and fintech companies must accommodate the demands of the new amendments from January. Here are some of the key amendments and how they affect Nigerian customers.

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“It is mandatory for all Tier-1 bank accounts and wallets for individuals to have (a) BVN and/or NIN,” the CBN circular reads in part.

“It remains mandatory for Tiers 2 and 3 accounts and wallets for individual accounts to have BVN and NIN;

“The process for account opening shall commence by electronically retrieving BVN or NIN-related information from the NIBSS’ BVN or NIMC’s NIN databases and for same to become the primary information for onboarding of new customers, and;

“All existing customer accounts/wallets for individuals with validated BVN shall be profiled in the NIBSS’ Industry Customer Account Database (ICAD) immediately and within 24 hours of opening accounts/wallets.”

Circular from CBN to all commercial banks
Circular from CBN to all commercial banks
Circular from CBN to all commercial banks

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The CBN circular instructs, effective immediately, that no new Tier 1 bank accounts and wallets should be opened without a BVN or NIN.

For all existing Tier 1 bank accounts or wallets without BVNs or NINs, unfunded accounts and wallets shall be placed on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ until the new BVN and NIN process is completed.

A ‘Post No Debit’ status prevents bank customers from making transactions on their accounts.

“Effective March 1, 2024, all funded accounts or wallets shall be placed on “Post No Debit or Credit” and no further transactions permitted,” the CBN stated.

“The BVN or NIN attached to and/or associated with all accounts and wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024.”

Fintech companies have previously allowed customers to open basic bank accounts rated at Tier 1. Such bank accounts did not require extensive documentation such as a national means of identification.

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Published 2nd Dec, 2023

By Joseph Adeiye

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