Biometric registration of bank customers begins April 1

Posted on March 18, 2014



Biometric registration of bank customers will now commence on April 1, over a month and half after the project was inaugurated by suspended Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, it was learnt.

Sanusi had on February 14 inaugurated the registration exercise on behalf of Bankers’ Committee at the CBN head office in Lagos. He stated that after 18 months of the exercise, bank customers would not be able to do any transaction without their fingerprints.

He noted the development represented a milestone in the nation’s financial system and economy in general.

According to Sanusi, the new biometric registration would lead to the issuing of Bank Verification Number, a unique identity for every bank customer, and would help to mitigate fraud, money laundering and other vices in the country.

Although the biometric registration of bank customers would commence on April 1, the exercise will be carried out in only 48 bank centres across the country, mostly in Lagos and Abuja, according to information obtained by our correspondent.

The Biometric Matching Solution Project team, in a statement, said the project was currently in its pilot phase, which would terminate on March 31 with a Site Acceptance Test.

The pilot phase, the team said, served as a model and basis for nationwide deployment of the solution, noting that trainings were being conducted to users just as central servers were being installed at the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc – the company selected by the Bankers Committee to operate and manage the infrastructure for banks.

The statement read, “While at each bank a server has been installed, which will communicate with the central servers. Furthermore, enrolment and verification devices are being deployed at two nominated bank branches.

“To date we have installed servers at 21 bank headquarters and have also commenced the deployment and installation of the enrolment and verification devices across 48 bank sites as well as training of the end users at these locations.

“Presently, the banks are testing and implementing the interface of the system to allow for the seamless update of some of the information from their core banking application”.

“The current testing and training activities ongoing at the 48 bank branches will provide the requisite skill set to staff of the Banks nationwide and this process will herald the enrolment of customers beginning with the Bank staff. It is our expectation that the experiences gathered from this phase will provide a learning curve to the enrolment officers in the Banks and will therefore lead to a seamless process when we start enrolling the public.”

The statement further said, “The selected bank branches will be able to commence Enrolment and Verification of Bank customers from April 1, 2014 which heralds the Site Acceptance Test period.

To ensure that all possible knowledge gaps are closed and adequate awareness and education is created amongst the public, enlightenment campaigns and engagement activities with stakeholders will commence upon the completion of the pilot phase towards the end of this month.”

Sanusi had indicated the registration exercise might commence the week following the official launching of the biometric system.

“The CBN will issue a circular next week that will basically inform customers that this has now started. As soon as a bank gets the circular, the branches will issue notice to customers to find time to come in once and register. You can register anywhere actually. You can go to any bank or agent to register. Once you register, you cannot register again,” the suspended CBN helmsman had said at the launching on February 14.

But the project team insisted the Bank Verification Number project was being implemented without a breach of stipulated timelines and milestones under the supervision of the NIBSS Plc.

According to a holding statement by the team, the official launch of the Banker’s Verification Number by Sanusi only heralded the pilot phase of the Biometric Matching Solution deployment and the pilot phase is scheduled to run till March 31.

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