Following the extension of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) exercise to October 31st, leading telecoms operator, Airtel Nigeria, has announced a strategic partnership with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) to provide Nigerians a much easier way to access their BVNs through their mobile phones.
With this initiative, bank customers who have registered at their banks for BVN, can obtain their BVNs, at any time, by dialing the USSD code *565*0# on their mobile phones.
Recall that chaotic situations were recorded in most banks’ premises in Nigeria, recently, as thousands of customers besieged banks in a bid to beat the initial deadline for the BVN enrolment which was earlier billed to expire on Tuesday, 30th June, 2015.
Also, customers that have more than one bank account were also seen with pieces of white papers where the banks where they had registered wrote their unique BVN numbers to take to other banks to key in. With Airtel’s new service, customers can now access their BVNs on the move through their mobile phones.
The BVN, a central bank initiative, which was launched in February 2014, is being supported by the bankers’ committee. It is aimed at protecting bank customers and further strengthening the Nigerian banking system. It was among other things, introduced to address safety of customers’ funds, avoid losses through compromise of personal identification numbers and other criminal activities in the industry.
The BVN is a unique number that enables one person to have a single identity in the banking system. It basically ensures that a customer’s identity is not stolen. A customer is only expected to register at one bank, irrespective of the number of accounts he has.
Speaking on the new service, Airtel Nigeria’s Chief Commercial Officer, Maurice Newa, said Airtel is committed to providing relevant services that will empower Nigerians to realize their full potentials and fulfill their dreams.
“We are excited that the NIBSS has chosen to partner with us to deliver real value to Nigerians. At Airtel, we will continue to explore further opportunities to partner with the Nigerian government at different levels,” he said.
The service is billed at N10 per query.