A BVN, or Bank Verification Number, is a unique 11-digit number that is assigned to each individual in Nigeria. It is a biometric identification system that is used to verify the identity of customers at all banks in Nigeria.
The BVN was introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2014 as part of a wider effort to combat fraud in the banking system. It is now mandatory for all Nigerians to have a BVN before they can open a bank account or make certain financial transactions.
Your BVN is linked to your biometric data, including your fingerprints and facial image. This means that your identity can be verified quickly and easily by banks and other financial institutions.
What is the bank verification number (BVN) used for?
Here\’s a more detailed explanation of what a BVN is and its purpose:
- Unique Identification: A BVN is a unique 11-digit number that is linked to an individual\’s biometric data, such as fingerprints and facial features. This ensures that each BVN is associated with a specific person, making it difficult for individuals to engage in fraudulent activities like identity theft or multiple account ownership.
- Verification: BVNs are used to verify the identity of customers when they perform various banking transactions. These transactions can include opening a new bank account, linking multiple accounts, making high-value transactions, or accessing certain banking services.
- Security: BVNs enhance the security of financial transactions by making it difficult for fraudsters to impersonate account holders. Banks and financial institutions use BVNs to confirm the identity of their customers, reducing the risk of unauthorized access and fraudulent activities.
- Ease of Banking: BVNs make it more convenient for customers to access banking services. Once an individual\’s BVN is registered with a bank, they can use it for various transactions across different banks, eliminating the need for multiple identification processes.
- Fraud Prevention: BVNs are a significant tool in preventing financial fraud, money laundering, and other illegal activities within the banking sector. Banks can cross-reference BVNs to identify suspicious or potentially fraudulent transactions.
- Financial Inclusion: BVNs also contribute to financial inclusion by ensuring that individuals have a verifiable identity, which is essential for access to banking services and government programs.
- Data Privacy: It\’s important to note that BVN data is protected by strict privacy regulations, and banks are required to handle this information with care to safeguard customers\’ personal data.
Methods of checking your BVN
1. USSD code:
- Dial *565*0# on your mobile phone.
- Select the option to check your BVN.
- You will be prompted to enter your date of birth.
- Your BVN will be displayed on your screen.
This method is the most convenient and accessible, as it does not require an internet connection. However, it is important to note that you can only use this method if you are using the same mobile phone number that you used to register your BVN.
2. NIBSS website:
- Visit the NIBSS BVN Validation Portal.
- Log in using your BVN and date of birth.
- Click on the \”Search\” button.
- You will be prompted to pay a small service charge.
- Once you have paid the service charge, your BVN details will be displayed on the screen.
This method is more secure than the USSD code method, as it requires you to log in with your BVN and date of birth. However, it does require an internet connection.
3. Internet banking:
- Log in to your internet banking account.
- Go to the \”Profile\” section.
- Your BVN will be displayed on the screen.
This method is convenient if you already have an internet banking account. However, it does require an internet connection.
4. Mobile banking app:
Open your mobile banking app.
Go to the \”Profile\” section.
Your BVN will be displayed on the screen.
This method is the most convenient if you have a mobile banking app. However, it does require an internet connection.
5. Bank branch:
- Visit a branch of any bank you have your account.
- Ask to see the customer service.
- Tell the person on the desk to help you check for your BVN number.
- S/he will ask for some information from you to verify you own the account, and then proceed with your request.
In conclusion, your Bank Verification Number (BVN) is a crucial identification tool that enhances the security and efficiency of banking transactions. Knowing how to check your BVN is essential for various banking activities and financial services. By understanding the methods available for checking your BVN and following the appropriate steps, you can ensure the integrity of your banking transactions and protect yourself from fraud and identity theft. Remember to keep your BVN confidential, avoid sharing it with unauthorized individuals or websites, and use official banking channels for verification. Stay informed about any updates or changes related to BVN verification methods in your country to ensure you are using the most reliable and secure options.