How BVN can be used to steal money from your bank accounts

Bank Verification Number (BVN) is a unique identification number (11 digits) issued to every bank customers and linked to every bank accounts that the customer has in all banks in Nigeria. The BVN was launched by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on February 14, 2014 in collaboration with the Banker’s Committee as a centralized biometric identification system for the Nigerian banking industry.

Purpose of BVN

The primary aim of creating the unique identification number for bank customers is to stem the increasing case of identity fraud in the banking industry. Other objective of BVN includes:

  • To use BVN information as a means of identifying and verifying all individuals that have account(s) in any Nigerian bank and as a means of authenticating customer’s identity at the point of transactions.
  • To provide a uniform industrially accepted unique identity for Bank Customers
  • To authenticate transactions without the use of cards using only biometric features and PIN
  • Identification of blacklisted customers

In other to ensure increased enrollment of bank customers, the bankers committee in its 11th retreat held in December 2018, classified BVN into 2 categories, the BVN Premium and BVN Lite. The BVN Premium covers bank customers that can provide the 18 basic requirements for a complete BVN enrolment while the BVN Lite will require minimal documentations like name and phone number for bank customers, especially those at the rural areas that do not meet the full requirements.

There are over 42.4 million customers that have been registered on the BVN partform since inception. The CBN however promised to increase the number of registered bank customers to 100 million by 2024.

Benefits of BVN

  • BVN provides a unique identification that can be verified by all financial institutions.
  • It protects the bank account of customers from unauthorized access
  • It addresses the issue of identity theft, thus reduce exposure to fraud.
  • The BVN enhances the Banking Industry chances of being able to fish out blacklisted customers
  • Standardized efficiency of Banking operations.

Risks in disclosing you BVN

There have been reservations among bank customers about BVN fraud, how fraudsters can use a bank customer’s BVN to steal funds in the bank account of such customer. Nigerian Banker says disclosing your BVN to any person or group does not pose any threat to the funds in your bank account.

What every bank customer should however worry about is how fraudsters can use the personal information obtained as a result of the exposure of your BVN to trick you into volunteering sensitive information like your Bank Card details, ATM Pin, USSD, Mobile and Online Banking Passwords. Once you can keep these items save, the funds in your bank account is save.

Fraudsters in conjunction with greedy bank officials can commit BVN fraud by using your BVN to see and obtain all your Bio-Data and use it to trick you into disclosing those sensitive detail. But once you have master the act of not disclosing them, your bank funds are save.

Culled from Nigerian Banker


  1. Hello! Please I give those fraudster my bvn n my card details but I have blocked that card… Am I still safe… ?? Someone said they can use my bio-data to borrow/steal money from other banks which later I will be in trouble

  2. I opened a bank account from those people normally open account on the street
    I’m yet to get my account number it’s 3 days now
    Please I hope my money is safe In my previous account because I gave out my bvn

  3. I give some one my bvn nd acct number for laod one day he call me nd was asking of my pin nd th last 6 digit on my card nd i give what will i do now pls i need advice?

  4. I got a call saying from bank that I need to activate my account and also upgrade the person said my details including my bvn number but asked me to say my otp n my card number I did that ignonartly but later after the call ended I decided to withdraw but all money was gone . Is there any solution in getting my money back

  5. Please, a friend of mine called my sister to ask for my account number and BVN. She accessed my files at home and sent it to him, is it possible for him to carry out any transaction or carry out any changes on my account?

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