CBN Douses BVN Fears, Says Disclosing BVN For Transactions Not Risky


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has declared that the provision of BVN by customers at the point of Forex purchase or for any legitimate banking transaction with all banks and licensed Bureaux de Change does not attract any security risk.

“The adoption of BVN as a condition for the purchase of FOREX is expected to reduce the incidence of multiple purchases, round tripping and illicit transfer of funds, facilitate enforcement of authorized limits of forex sales to end users, sanitize the retail segment of the market and engender policies that will facilitate better allocation of the forex, based on genuine demands,” the bank explained in a statement.

“The BVN is neither a payment instrument nor an account number and therefore could not be used to access any account by unauthorized users. The banks, BDC operators and even regulators use the BVN to validate the identity of a customer using some biometric information such as finger prints and photograph obtained at the point of enrolment.

“The BVN provides the unique identity of each customer for the purpose of achieving effective “Know Your Customer” (KYC) principle and fraud prevention. Customers can easily get their BVN from the mobile phone number submitted during the enrolment by dialling *565*0#.Please be guided properly” it said.

The CBN has therefore mandated that all banks and licensed Bureaux de Change (BDCs) operating in Nigeria provide Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) as part of the requirement for the sale of foreign exchange to their customers.

The refusal of customers to disclose their BVN at BDCs, might lead to an increase in demand for foreign exchange needs in black market which will in turn result to a rise in the parallel market exchange rate.

Activities at the retail segment of the official foreign exchange market were on Wednesday, grounded as end users avoided BDCs to avoid submitting their Biometric Verification Number (BVN) for foreign exchange transactions.

This resulted in sharp increase in demand for dollars at the black market, prompting the naira to depreciate to N230 per dollar from N225.