The Bank Verification Number, a.k.a. BVN, is a must-have for anybody who wants to access robust financial services in Nigeria. 

What’s BVN?

The BVN is like a security number, but for banks and other financial institutions to identify an individual with their bank account details. It’s a unique 11-digit number allocated to you upon biometric registration.

Biometric registration refers to the identification of an individual based on their physiological attributes: fingerprint, voice, facial features, etc.  

To address the increasing compromise of customer security data like passwords and PINs, and the challenges banks face with identity management, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with all Nigerian banks launched a centralised biometric identification system called the Bank Verification Number (BVN), on February 14, 2014.

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Since then, the BVN has been used to identify customers. But many people have issues obtaining their BVN and accessing financial services because they forget or don’t have them saved. 

Luckily, you don’t have to enter the banking hall to obtain your BVN. You can check your BVN number wherever you are, on your phone, without compromising your security. Then you can save it for future use. 

All telecom providers in Nigeria enable users to perform this task.

How to check BVN on MTN, Airtel, GLO, and 9mobile

The first thing to do before using this service is to ensure that whatever line you wish to use is the one you registered the BVN with. If you registered with MTN, you can’t use an Airtel line to check your BVN. 

After that has been established, you can now go ahead and check your BVN with these simple steps:

Dial the USSD code *565*0# t check your BVN
  1. Go to your phone dialer and dial the USSD code *565*0#.
  2. Wait a bit until the 11-digit number pops up.
  3. Copy the number. You can either copy it for immediate use or save it for later. However, the service is not free and you’ll be charged 20 naira for the transaction. So, saving for later use is advisable for people who can’t afford to tip telcos a whole 20 bucks every time they check their BVN.
Error message for using a number other than the one you registered your BVN with

Note that checking your BVN is not only the same process across all lines, it’s also similar across all the banks. You use the same code to check your BVN as a GTB or UBA customer because everyone is allocated one unique BVN that’s used across all the banks. This means, if you have accounts with all the banks in Nigeria, you’ll still have one BVN that links all of them back to you. 

Damilare Dosunmu | Author

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