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Nigerian Banks To Commence Biometric Customer Registration

February 13, 2014 (Ventures Africa)

VENTURES AFRICA- In a bid to create a more secured banking environment that will limit the risks of personal data vulnerability, the Bankers' Committee has announced that commercial banks in Nigeria will begin biometric registration for customers at the end of the week.

The process will include the registration of fingerprints, and is expected to help tackle key sector-focused challenges including fraud and money laundering.

“The banking industry, under the auspices of the Bankers' Committee, has been working to improve the Know Your Customer requirement,” said Access Bank’s GMD, Herbert Wigwe.

Wigwe, who was present at the committee’s bi-monthly meeting in Lagos, added that “the idea is to fight fraud, money laundering and ensure a better customer protection. The initiative will be launched this Friday, February 14."

Mr. Ugochukwu Okoroafor, CBN’s Corporate Communications Director, also explained that the biometric system, when fully operational, will help improve the safety of credit transactions in the economy, subsequently boosting the nation's macro-economy.

"Nigeria runs on cash; there is no identity. We don't know who is who. We are now going into identity confirmation. We can now create a credit system that will power our economy,” he noted.

"Banks don't want to lend because of identity issue. We want to move Nigeria from cash system to credit system that has identity."

The decision to conduct a biometric exercise on bank customers came at the heel of the committee's decision to rollout the Central Bank-led cashless policy to the remaining states of the country by July 1, 2014 – making the scheme a nationwide exercise.

The cashless project was first launched in Lagos two years ago before it was extended mid last year to six other states including Rivers, Kano, Anambra, Ogun, Abia and Abuja (FCT).

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Source: Ventures Africa

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