The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is to introduce a unique identity data for the banking industry, a customer due diligence solution that will enable financial institutions identify their customers and ascertain relevant information pertinent to doing financial business with them, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek has learnt.
The initiative is different from an earlier plan to collaborate with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on the matter.
In this case, the apex bank after the work of a subcommittee headed by Godwin Emefiele, group CEO of Zenith Bank, will harmonise the account numbers such that everybody will be uniquely identified.
It offers protections both to the customer and the bank.
Tunde Lemo, deputy governor (Operations) of the CBN, said the Bankers’ Committee had taken a decision on Unique Identity solution.
According to him, “they are working very hard on the biometric-based unique identification portal that would be available to all banks, so that they can have a unique account database that would enable them have across the entire industry.”
“I believe that the idea of the NIMC is very good, it is something that we all have to migrate to in the future, but until that is done, we want to have something that the industry can use and that is what we are doing. Today, the need for the banking industry to have unique data base is very compelling.” He added.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek gathered that when this is put in place all financial institutions must verify the identity of individuals wishing to conduct financial transactions.
This is intended to enable the bank form a reasonable belief that it knows the true identity of each customer. It will also include reasonable and practical risk-based procedures for verifying the identity of each customer.