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Infractions: How CBN monitors fraud-related bank customers’ BVNs

*The Central Bank of Nigeria explains how its Bank Verification Number initiative has helped to track fraudulent individuals and corporate organisations for engaging in forgery, compromise, complicity, fraudulent duplicate enrolment and related infractions in the financial sector

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has restated  the strategic importance of centralising all customers’ Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) in the country’s financial ecosystem.

Speaking at the 34th Finance Correspondents and Business Editors’ seminar in Calabar, Cross River State capital, with the theme: “Implementing a Robust Payment Architecture: Prospects, Opportunities and Challenges,” Musa Jimoh Director of Payment Systems Management at CBN, disclosed that the BVN initiative had enabled the Bankers’ Bank to track fraudulent individuals and corporate entities, who have engaged in forgery, compromise, complicity, fraudulent duplicate enrolment and any fraudulent infractions with and without monetary value.

Represented at the conference by Adefuye Adeyemi, Deputy Director of Payment Systems,

Jimoh noted that 7,552 Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) had been flagged and put on watchlist as a result of fraudulent transactions.

The CBN revealed that the eNaira, a Central Bank’s Digital Currency (CBDC) also recorded 1.4 million transactions to date.

“Recent data with the CBN reveals that 7,552 BVN has been put on the watchlist,” said the CBN Director.

eNaira designed to fast-track intergovernmental, social transfers

In his presentation, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN, said the Bank’s CBDC eNaira was developed to foster digital financial inclusion, with potential for fast-tracking intergovernmental and social transfers in the Nigerian economy.

The CBN Chief, also represented by Dr. Hassan Mahmud, Director of Monetary Policy, revealed that the West African country’s payments system landscape had continued to record significant changes and development.

On the birth of the eNaira, Emefiele said: “The advent of COVID-19 no doubt triggered rapid advancements in financial technology leading to speedy digitisation of money and finance.

“The CBN took advantage of the opportunity by launching the eNaira in October 2021.”

The CBN Governor stated: “The eNaira was developed to broaden the payment possibilities of Nigerians, foster digital financial inclusion, with potential for fast-tracking intergovernmental and social transfers.

“Since its launch, the CBN has continued to modify its features to make it more accessible to a wide range of users.

“Today, one does not need a smartphone to use the eNaira as it has become compatible with all generations of mobile devices (old and new).

“Till date, over 1.4m transactions have passed through the eNaira platform.”

Other payment instruments by CBN

Emefiele also noted “as a deliberate policy towards ensuring easier, cheaper and faster means of payments, the CBN has continued to collaborate with relevant stakeholders in the adoption of payment system instruments and channels.”

He stated these include the BVN, the Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), Regulatory Sandbox, Open Banking and the CBN Digital Currency (CBDC), the eNaira.

Nigeria is currently, the first country on the African continent and second in the world to have fully launched a live CBDC, stated he.

Emefiele said: “The payments system regulation and management role of the CBN is very critical in the achievement of its primary mandate of price and monetary stability conducive for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

“It is also important for ensuring a stable, safe and efficient financial system in Nigeria.”

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