Anxiety as Microfinance Banks Risk Account Forfeiture

Fearful anticipation loomed amongst customers of microfinance banks following the deadline expiration of penultimate on Friday, especially for those who are yet to enroll for the compulsory BVN (Biometric Verification Number.

An investigation by The Nation disclosed that about 5 million accounts might be shut down due to failure to comply with the BVN order in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria mandate.

CBN had extended the BV enrollment from 31st July 2017 to 31st December 2017. Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, the Director for Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department, announced this extension citing that all customers without BVN attached to their account would not be entitled to debit operations starting 1st January 2018.

Given that commercial banks have prevented customers from accessing their accounts without BVN, it has given most microfinance bank customers reason to worry about the fate of their accounts if they enforce the BVN order.

Nonetheless, Rogers Nwoke, the Managing Director of Hasal Microfinance Bank, while speaking to The Nation, confirmed that the deadline for microfinance banks’ customers has since elapsed and thus they shouldn’t be the reason for anxiety whatsoever. The reason given was that microfinance has since acquired BVN machines. As such in the case a customer comes to a microfinance bank and cannot do a transaction because they do not have a BVN, they would be guided to a BVN machine to do his enrollment.

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