What does BVN mean and what is the fuss all about?
The Bank Verification Number (BVN) is an 11 digit Identity code that acts as your Universal means of Identity in all Nigerian commercial banks. The BVN is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria in association with the banker’s committee – Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) to stress (again) the cashless policy. The initiative was launched on the 14th of February, 2014 to serve as a centralized biometric identification system; also due to the increasing occurrences of illegal and fraudulent acts in the banking sector. What used to provide some sense of security (passwords and pins) has now been rendered almost useless by hackers and internet criminals. Therefore, the Central bank of Nigeria introduced a system using the Biometrics technology which analyzes human characteristics such as fingerprints or facial recognition as a means of identification. This is a more authentic and secure means and is one of the strategies to ensure Nigeria becomes one of the top 20 largest economies by 2020. And that is how the Bank Verification Number (BVN) was birthed to save the day! The BVN expires after 10 years. This means that after 10 years of the BVN code being issued, the customer has to go back to his/her bank to re-enroll.
Codes To Check BVN For Different Banks In Nigeria
Why is the BVN thing so important?
- It is simple. This is Nigeria and you want your money to be safe and also want better means of reducing chances of unauthorized access to your bank account.
- To reduce the long queues in Nigerian banking halls (Well…it is supposed to)
- To establish a standard consisting of regulations for transactions and activities in the Nigerian banking sector
- Your BVN is accepted as your unique means of identification across all Nigerian banks. This would help in your transfer of funds and transactions across banks.
- The BVN also protects the Banks in fishing out blacklisted customers wherein loan defaulters who switch bank thinking Banks will not know their other Bank histories will be restricted and curtailed since all banks have a centralized record and keep track records of each customer.
How to get your Bank Verification Number
In case you have not gotten your BVN, the process is simple:
- Walk into any bank branch closest to you, most preferably one in which you already own an account or wish to open with)
- Collect, Fill and submit the BVN Enrolment form. (Some banks have the form on their website available for download)
- Present yourself for data capturing (such as Fingerprint, facial Image, etc)
- An acknowledgment slip with the transaction will be issued to you
- Within 24hours the system confirms your application, your BVN is generated, and you receive an SMS or E-mail for pickup.
NOTICE: The BVN cannot be issued online and here is why an online request for your BVN especially on unknown websites will give access to control of your bank account. It has been noticed that criminal elements would provide a seemingly easier route online and threaten you to have your account closed if you don’t provide them with details, do not fall for it. Your physical presence is needed in a bank for your BVN code.
Requirements for obtaining BVN at the bank
You are to come along with your Valid ID: Nigerian International Passport, Nigerian National ID Card or Nigerian Driver’s License
Problems you will encounter without having your BVN
Without the BVN you are likely to be faced with the following difficulties:
- Halted or delayed transactions on your account because you are yet to update your bank account with your Bank Verification Number.
- Inability to transfer funds or carry out particular online transactions using your bank account.
Codes to check BVN for different banks in Nigeria
Now, this is where your physical presence will not be required anymore (remember the goal is to reduce crowding in banks).
What is more? You do not need to memorize the 11 digits by heart either (that’s great news).
By following some simple step by step instructions on your mobile phone, your Bank Verification number will pop up on your screen. Here’s how:
- Dial the USSD code *556*0#on your phone (You have to use the number you registered your BVN with initially)
- Wait for a few seconds for the NIBSS to respond with your 11-digits BVN
- A charge of twenty naira only #20.00 is attached to this process.
Another option is to simply save your BVN on your phone as a contact number.
This USSD code is applicable to all network service providers:
This code was first originated by the MTN service provider but now includes all other network service providers in the country.
This USSD code is not only available for all mobile networks but is also for all banks in Nigeria, for instance:
- How to check BVN code for Zenith Bank customers: Dial *565*0#
- How to check BVN code for First Bank customers: Dial *565*0#
- How to check BVN code for GT bank customers: Dial *565*0#
- How to check BVN code for FCMB customers: Dial *565*0#
- How to check BVN code for Eco Bank customers: Dial *565*0#
- How to check BVN code for Stanbic IBTC customers: Dial *565*0#
- How to check BVN code for UBA customers: Dial *565*0#
- How to check BVN code for Access Bank customers: Dial *565*0#
This applies to all other banks not mentioned in this example.
How to check BVN number online
You can check your BVN code number online as well as link your BVN to a specific bank account via internet banking. This requires an internet connection. To inquire of your BVN number online, you will have to log into your Internet banking app. And you will see the code displayed to your front page.
Some banks also have their own USSD code for you to check your BVN in a punch. For example, if using the Guarantee Trust Bank, one can dial *767*6*1#
The BVN was and is a good initiative and forever kudos to the management of our financial system.