BVN (Bank Verification Number) is a biometric identification system implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria to checkmate illegal banking transaction in Nigeria. Over the years, there has been security concerns, theories and hypothesis, scares, rumours, misinformation and fear attached to the use of BVN. Consequently, many people turn down any dealings that requires the disclosure of their BVN both online and offline
Realistically, there must be a time when we are boxed up in the decision to either supply the number or not. The current registration of Npower has once again brought up the discussion and concerns associated with BVN security.
What do you need to know? Can someone empty your account through your BVN? Is it safe, or not, to give out your BVN? What can a scammer do with it? Can he cause damage, and to what extent? We will tell you all you need to know in this post.
What the BVN really is
BVN is just a biometric identification. Let’s take the BVN as a playlist in your media player. There are numerous media in your phone/laptop. You more likely would want to play a ” type” of media at a time. For instance, you feel like playing “highlife” music. It won’t be palatable that along the way, a worship song will interrupt the flow. So what do you do? You group your media into playlists, each containing a particular type of Media and you name it.
In the same vein, BVN is used to classify all banking transactions into individuals. Let’s assume you operate 20 different accounts in different banks for different purposes, the BVN will link all of them to you, like a playlist, and then name it your name.
The BVN is like a folder that contains all files about a particular thing. BVN contains information about all your banking details so that whatever you do in a bank will be associated with you.
At this point I believe that you now know the primary work of a BVN. Now to the next question.
Does knowing my BVN mean access to my bank details?
To answer this question, ask yourself: If I tell you that I have a playlist called “romantic” in my phone, does it give you access to it? Well if you have my phone and my phone’s password, you can access the playlist. But what if you don’t?
The phone in this case is your bank. Your BVN is the playlist and your password is your other banking details. Let’s tackle another question.
What happens when my BVN gets to wrong hands?
Firstly, for you to play the media on my playlist, you need my phone, the password and the name of the playlist or folder. If I tell you the name of the folder or playlist without giving you my phone and my password, you can’t do anything.
If a fraudster gets your BVN, he still need your other banking details to be able to cause harm or damage to you.
Your BVN is like your phone number, it’s like your account number, it’s like your house address, it’s like your plate number, it’s like your name. They are all essential and private, a combination of some, or all of them could expose you to harm.
What scammers do with BVN
Most scammers who phish for BVN use social engineering to obtain the remaining information they need to strike. A scammer who already have your BVN, your name, your bank account and your age is more likely to persuade you to release your ATM details or persuade you to send him a OTP sent to your phone.
The higher the amount of information in possession of a scammer, the easier for him to scam you. BVN is just one of the many information he needs for his job to be easier, but there is no way he can empty your account using only your BVN unless there is an insider collaboration.
Should you supply your BVN when filling out form online?
Yes and No. Yes if:
~you’re familiar with the purpose of the website.
~You’re sure that you typed the web address correctly.
~The website has SSL. You know this if there is “s” after http on the address bar such as the one on this site.
But No if the above conditions do not exist.
Nobody can empty your account using only your BVN. But your BVN is as important as your other personal information, be mindful of who you give it out to.