Faced with the problem of insecurity on customer accounts, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on February, 2014 initiated a compulsory bank verification number exercise which provides account holders with a unique number that enables the account holder to have a single identity in the banking system, aimed at protecting bank customers from identity theft and other financial/economic crimes emanating in the banking sector of Nigeria (Orji, 2014) .
The Bank Verification Number (BVN) is a bold step taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria, to strengthen security in the banking sector of Nigeria. One beauty of the BVN is that transactions will be safer once it is implemented fully. The BVN exercise aims at ensuring that bank transactions are safer and fraudulent transactions are minimized, if not totally eliminated. The campaign is on, but the public may not realise its importance until it closes in in the new extension deadline, October 2015.
BVN uses biometric technology to register customers in the banking sector. It records these physical features which are unique to individuals – fingerprints and the face. The record would be used to identify the person afterwards. Once a person’s biometrics have been recorded, and BVN issued the account would be accessed through BVN. The major objectives of the initiative are to protect bank customers, reduce fraud and strengthen the Nigerian banking system.
Biometric enrolment is helpful to people who cannot read and write. Their finger prints and pictures would serve the same purpose as signatures. Multiple account holders would be covered with a single registration in any of the banks where they have accounts.
BVN will help the banking system reduce situations where loan defaulters, for instance, move from one bank to the other and the banks extend new credits to them, without knowing their history. Banks would be able to track transactions across all banks in Nigeria with more ease.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Over the years, the banking sector of Nigeria has played the role of the intermediate body with regards to ensuring the smooth running of the economy and coordination of other sectors involved in the circular flow of income in the Nigerian economy. However, growth in this sector has been reduced due to high cases of economic and financial crimes (Udenze, 2014). Fraud and money laundering have had adverse impacts on our national development and particularly on the financial system. They have caused damage to the reputation of the image of the country, loss of FDI, poor infrastructural development, dwindling confidence and distortions in our political as well as financial systems, among other things.
In view of these crimes perpetuated by cyber thieves, the mandatory bank verification number exercise embarked by various banks nationwide has also caused congestions in banking halls. Although the exercise commenced since February, 2014, the fire brigade approach of most Nigerians has warranted most bank halls to be filled to its maximum capacity. Queues in some banks even extended outside the banking hall. This development has caused confusion in some banking halls as other transactions are placed on hold due to inadequate staff to attend to clients or delayed indefinitely.
1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
The main objective of this paper is to design and implement a computerized Bank Verification Number System for Nigerians in the Diaspora and at home to use. Specific objectives of the study are:
To examine the benefits of adopting an online BVN system.
To identify the necessary structures needed to run a successful online BVN system.
To identify challenges in the design and implementation of an online BVN system.
To design and implement and online BVN system.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
What are the benefits of adopting an online BVN system?
What necessary structures are needed to run a successful online BVN system?
What challenges exist in the design and implementation of an online BVN system?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will aid in reducing queues at banking halls and reducing identity theft if successfully implemented. Bank managers and other stakeholder in the banking industry of Nigeria can use this web application to restore confidence in the banking sector as more clients will be assured that their funds are safe, and the stress of queuing at banks will be totally eliminated.
The study will also serve as a guide to other student researchers who may want to conduct further research on the subject matter. Findings and recommendations from this system will aid in developing newer versions to serve optimally.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
BVN: Bank Verification Number.
CBN: Central Bank of Nigeria.
Biometrics: Biometrics refers to identification of an individual based on physiological attributes- fingerprint, voice, facial features etc.
Udenze, B. (2014). BVN: CBN targets 80% fraud reduction in banking sector. Obtainable at http://sunnewsonline.com/bvn-cbn-targets-80-fraud-reduction-banking-sector/
Orji, V, O. (2015). Knowledge management systems: Issues,
challenges, and benefits. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 1(7).
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