BVN, which stands for Bank Verification Number, is a CBN initiative enforced in 2014 to tackle concerns of identity management faced by banks in Nigeria before that time. BVN is thus a requirement to operate a functional bank account in Nigeria, as long as you are above 18 years of age. If for any reason you want to know what your BVN is but don’t have airtime to use *565*0# which costs NGN20, continue reading this article to discover how you can do so.
How to check your BVN without airtime would be discussed below:
Make Use of Your Bank’s Unique Shortcode
Normally, all Nigerian banks and mobile operators have a unique number to dial to easily get your BVN. That unique code is *565*0#, however, it comes with a flat rate of NGN20. But since this article is on how to check for your BVN without airtime, let’s use another alternative using your bank’s USSD code. But you must know at this time it is not all the banks in Nigeria that provide their customers with the opportunity to use their unique shortcode to check for BVN. Only Keystone Bank, Fidelity Bank, and Guaranty Trust Bank allow their customers to check for their BVN number using their respective USSD, however, a little amount would be deducted from the account balance of the customer. So, if you have an account with any of these three banks in Nigeria, read on to see how to retrieve your BVN with ease.
Here’s how to check for your BVN using your bank’s USSD:
- For Keystone Bank
- Dial *7111#
- Select 6 (or BVN)
- You will be asked to put the password you use in carrying out transactions
- You will receive a text message immediately containing your Bank Verification Number (BVN). NGN10.75 will be deducted from your bank account balance for this service
- For Fidelity Bank
- Dial *770#
- Select 9 (or next)
- On the next menu list that appears, select 6 (which says Get Account No/BVN/NIN)
- Input your password
- Your Account Number, BVN, and NIN would immediately be displayed on your screen. This will cost you NGN20 which would be deducted from your available balance
- For Guaranty Trust Bank
- Dial *737*6*1#
- Follow the instructions that will be provided
- Your BVN will be sent to you immediately. A certain amount, which you’d see before completing the process, would be deducted from your available balance
Make Use of Your Bank’s Online Banking Platform
This option to check for BVN without airtime is for those who have already subscribed for online banking with their banks. In addition to having subscribed to online banking, you should also have sufficient data balance or access to a broadband internet connection. Now, every bank in Nigeria has a mobile banking application to make it easier for their customers to perform transactions and other services with ease – as long as the app is installed on the customer’s device.
If you make use of an android device, simply go to Google Play Store, search for the name of your bank’s mobile app, and install the app on your phone. If it is an iOS device you’re using, simply go to the Apple Store to install your bank’s app. When you’ve successfully installed the app on your device, log into the app, then click on the menu option on the app. Depending on the user interface of your bank’s mobile app, you may see the BVN tab among the menu options while others may require that you look for it in another location on the app.
Go to Your Bank Branch Near You
Another way to check for your BVN without airtime is to pay a visit to any of the banks you have a bank account with. Remember your biometric information was captured during your BVN registration process. So, to get your BVN from your bank office, you just need to go along with a valid government-issued ID and tell them you need to get your BVN. The kind of identity documents that you can use to identify yourself in the bank office includes an international passport, driver’s license, national identity card, or voter’s card. After your identity has been confirmed, you’d be asked to place your fingers on a biometric fingerprint reader. You may be asked to place several fingers one by one on the device. When it checks out, your BVN would be issued to you. You would want to save your BVN where it’d be likely to retrieve whenever you need it.
For some other bank mobile apps, you may need to search for an option to request BVN, after which you’ll be required to fill out a form, and submit it when you’re sure the information you entered was accurate. An acknowledgment slip and transaction ID may appear on your screen to show your request has been accepted. With that being done, you just have to wait for your BVN to be sent to you. And it’s usually within 24 hours.
Why is BVN Important in Nigeria?
Before the advent of the use of BVN in Nigeria, there were concerns about identity management in Nigeria’s banking industry. As directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, everybody with accounts in any Nigeria must register to get a unique Bank Verification Number (BVN) which must be linked with every other bank account they have with any other Nigerian bank. If you have more than one account and you’ve not linked all your bank accounts with your BVN, you can check on your bank’s website or online to see how you can link your BVN with the accounts you’re yet to link.
Here are the reasons why BVN is important:
- Provides holders of bank accounts with Nigerian banks with enhanced security
- Helps to reduce identity theft cases
- Authenticates each bank’s customer identification for KYC purposes
- Promotes efficiency in banking operations
- Increases banks’ possibility of capturing customers on a blacklist
- Helps to establish accountability
- Provides customers with access to future credit facilities