The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday directed banks to establish a database of their customers identified through their Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) to be involved in a confirmed fraudulent activity in the banking industry.
The directive was contained in the Regulatory Framework for Bank Verification Number (BVN) Operation and Watch-list for Nigerian Financial System released by the CBN. The implementation of the framework is with immediate effect.
CBN Director, Banking & Payments System,’Dipo Fatokun, who signed the framework, said bank customers are to by this framework, abide by the regulatory framework for BVN operations and the watch-list for the Nigerian Banking Industry and also report all suspicious or unauthorized activities on their accounts.
Data from the CBN showed that Nigeria experienced a total of 3,500 cyber-attacks with 70 percent success rate and loss of $450 million within the last one year mainly through cross-channel fraud, data theft, email spooling, phishing, shoulder surfing and underground websites.
Although e-fraud rate in terms of value dropped by 63 percent, after the BVN introduction and improved collaboration among banks via the fraud desks, the total fraud volume rose significantly by 683 percent.
The new regulation is expected to assist the CBN to a great deal, in curbing the menace of fraudsters
According to Fatokun, the new framework is in the exercise of the powers conferred on the CBN, by Sections 2 (d) and 47 (2), of the CBN Act, 2007, to promote the development of efficient and effective payments systems for the settlement of transactions.
He said the framework provides standards for the BVN operations and watch-list for the Nigerian Banking Industry. The watch-list comprises a database of bank customers’ identified by their BVNs, who have been involved in a confirmed fraudulent activity in the banking industry in Nigeria.
Fatokun said the regulatory framework shall guide activities of the participants in the provision of the BVN operations in Nigeria and that the CBN, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) and Bank Customers are participants in its implementation.
He said the CBN, in collaboration with the Bankers Committee, proactively embarked upon the deployment of a centralized BVN System and launched the BVN in February 2014. This, he said, was part of the overall strategy of ensuring the effectiveness of the Know Your Customer (KYC) principles, and the promotion of a safe, reliable and efficient payments system.