CBN Adds 7,552 Account Owners To The BVN Watch List

BVN Watch List

The number of account holders added to the bank verification number (BVN) monitoring list for engaging in fraudulent activity increased by 25% to 7,552 in just over nine months, supporting the rise in financial system fraud.

The figure was 6,045 as of June 2014, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). However, the number increased by 1,505 in less than a year to reach 7,552.

This information was provided by Musa Jimoh, the director of the apex bank’s payment systems management division, yesterday at the 34th Seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors being held in Calabar, the capital of the Cross River state.

Jimoh, who was represented by the department’s assistant director, Adefuye Adeyemi, asserted that those under investigation for various types of fraud run the prospect of being barred from the financial system.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated in his introductory remarks that the total number of BVN enrollees had climbed to 57.43 million as of March 31, 2023. He continued by saying that the BVN is helping depositors create credit profiles and expanding loan availability.

Emefiele, who was represented by Dr. Hassan Mahmud, Director of Monetary Policy, stated that BVN has continued to be included in the bank’s know your customer (KYC) standards as part of the strategy to reduce obstacles brought on by shaky customer identification.

He claims that BVN has additionally aided the sector in locating, detecting, and looking into illicit financial transactions. However, Emefiele noted that there have been difficulties with implementing digital payment because of a lackluster social infrastructure.

“Effective operation of payment platforms is highly reliant on stable telecommunication networks and power infrastructure. These are currently not optimal in Nigeria, thus, impacting the stability and resilience of the payments system,” he explained.

Emefiele also made reference to the bad deeds carried out by unauthorized parties in the payment value chain. He also stated: “Some entities have continued to exploit access to information technology to engage in regulated activities without the appropriate licenses and authorisation. The activities of fraudsters continue to threaten the resilience of payment platforms. The confidence of the public is impacted by these activities.”

“However, the collaborative effort between the Central Bank of Nigeria and other players in the industry is helping to curtail the nefarious activities of these fraudsters.”

Emefiele made a suggestion that the CBN had taken action to slow the tide in response to the difficulties. He mentioned the creation of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF), which includes of all pertinent stakeholders, as one of the steps to proactively address issues and protect the integrity of the e-payment channels.

He stated that the CBN has shown an unwavering commitment to safeguarding the stability and safety of the Nigerian payment system with some of the efforts it has already introduced.

“Accordingly, we shall continue to deepen our oversight of the activities of operators in the payments system as well as ensure full compliance with regulations. In this regard, examiners and supervisors would continue to ensure that services delivered by participants meet required security standards.”

“The bank will also continue to adopt a collaborative approach to achieve minimal cybersecurity threats in the payments system. A holistic mechanism for addressing cybersecurity threats requires policy and operational actions by all stakeholders. As you are aware, effective January 2023, the bank issued Risk-Based Cyber-Security Framework and Guidelines for Other Financial Institutions to ensure their operational resilience in the face of cyber-security threats,” he stated.

The CBN head also emphasized the contribution of eNaira, the nation’s central bank digital (CBDC), to the development of the smart payment system. He revealed that the entire volume of transactions in eNaira has increased to 1.4 million, roughly double the amount seen on the currency’s first anniversary.

The conversations were intended to further the electronic payment system, according to Adbulmumin Isah, acting director of corporate communications, in his statements.

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