Bank Verification Number (BVN), a Know Your Customer (KYC) initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria requirement that was introduced as part of plans to ease the constraints associated with poor identification of banking customers, has recorded a boost, according to the apex bank.

According to the governor of the CBN, the enrollment of bank accounts on the platform has reached a record 57.431,355 million as at the end of March.

The CBN had continued to support the aggressive enrollment of prospective banking customers in the informal sector onto the BVN system.

“With a total enrollment of 57,431,355 as at 31st March 2023, the BVN is supporting the development of credit profiles for banking customers, which will assist in improving access to credit for credit-worthy borrowers by banks,”Emefiele said in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State.

The CBN Governor made the disclosure at a seminar for Finance Correspondents & Business Editors tagged: “Implementing a Robust Payment Architecture: Prospects, Opportunities and Challenges.”

On the issue of cardless and other contactless payment options, Emefiele said the industry is quickly evolving towards cardless and other contactless payment options, including QR Codes, NFC etc.

In this regard, Emefiele said the bank has issued robust regulations to standardise operations of contactless payments in Nigeria.

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Financial transactions are usually consummated through contactless payments without physical contact between the payer and acquiring devices. It is an innovative payment option for safe and efficient conduct of low-value, large-volume payments.

He said BVN has also helped the industry in investigating fraud and other related crimes.

Emefiele said the CBN has successfully repositioned the Nigerian payment system to be highly competitive and acclaimed as one of the most innovative globally. Thus, many payment products that abound in the country are not readily available in some other countries. These include instant payments, QR codes and Central Bank Digital Currency, i.e. the eNaira.

“These efforts have culminated into a significant increase in the total volume of transactions on Electronic Payment Channels. While the use of cash and cheques continued to diminish, web-based transactions such as POS, NIP, ATM and MMO have increased substantially,” he said.

Between 2021 and 2017, the volume of transactions via electronic channels such as ATM, POS, WEB, MMO and NIP increased by 99.76, 1,775.72, 35,502.58, 2,413.44 and 836.50 percent, respectively.

The initiatives were introduced to drive down financial inclusion and to reduce the cost of printing and maintenance of cash.