Why Banks Are Urging Customers to Renew BVN and NIN Linkage

Commercial Banks in Nigeria

Nigerian banks are currently urging their customers to renew the linkage between their National Identification Number (NIN) and Bank Verification Number (BVN) as the March deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) approaches.

While some customers have expressed frustration, claiming they’ve previously linked their details, it appears many may have linked only their BVN and not their NIN, as mandated by the new directive.

The CBN directive stipulates that tier 2 and 3 accounts and wallets must be linked with both BVN and NIN, while tier 1 accounts have the option of BVN and/or NIN.

Bank sources reveal that some customers with irregularities in their details between their BVN and NIN would need to update their records to avoid potential account blocks.

Reasons Behind Bank Notifications:

  • Bank officials stress that these messages are in compliance with CBN directives, particularly targeting tier 2 and 3 customers who haven’t linked both numbers to their accounts.
  • Despite having linked their BVN, some customers haven’t linked their NIN as required, hence the repeated notifications.
  • Discrepancies between BVN and NIN details have also been observed, necessitating customers to update their records.

Customer Reactions:

  • Many customers are frustrated by the repeated requests, believing they’ve already completed the linkage process.
  • The requirement to visit bank branches for the linkage further compounds customers’ grievances, especially considering past experiences with long queues.

CBN Directive Overview:

  • The CBN announced on December 1, 2023, that accounts without BVN and NIN would be placed on “Post no Debit” from April 2024.
  • All BVN or NIN-linked accounts must undergo electronic revalidation by January 31, 2024.
  • Tier-1 accounts must have BVN and/or NIN, while tiers 2 and 3 must have both.
  • Non-compliant accounts or wallets will face restrictions on transactions starting from March 1, 2024.

The aim of these measures is to enhance financial inclusion, improve regulatory compliance, and ensure a more robust banking system in Nigeria.

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