The Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) says over 20 million customers have been enrolled by banks in the ongoing Bank Verification Number (BVN).

The organisation said in a statement issued on Sunday in Lagos that the milestone was achieved in the quest to ensure the success of the exercise.

It said NIBSS had already begun collaboration with telecommunication firms to create a platform through which bank customers could confirm their registration status.

The statement stated that, ”Already, NIBSS has collaborated with one of the country’s telecoms service providers, Etisalat, to roll out the BVN Query Service.

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”The service, unveiled at the NIBSS headquarters recently, is designed to help the banking Nigerian public query their BVN on-the-go via their mobile phones.”

According to a statement, the initiative is due to the extended deadline for the BVN registration which ends on Oct. 31 nationwide.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that the BVN registration was a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) directive to all commercial banks to register all customers’ biometrica data in furtherance of the Know Your Customer (KYC) policy.

The statement quoted the Managing Director of NIBSS, Ade Shonubi, as saying, ”The initiative is in response to growing public demand for confirmation of BVN status by those who have enrolled on the platform.”

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Shonubi said that the BVN Query Service would boost such efforts like KYC for banks.

Chief Marketing Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Francesco Angelone, said the partnership with NIBSS was in line with the telecom’s commitment to continue to create value for the consumers.

Angelone said that the customers cut across all sectors, including the banking and telecoms industries.

“We are happy to be the first to offer this product among the operators because we believe that innovation is the way the telecoms industry must lead,” he said.

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He explained that Estisalat believed that offering value to the banking public was another way it could show the telecoms industry the way forward.

Angelone said that the integration with the banking industry was a pillar for development.

He said, ”Etisalat subscribers can check their BVN registration status and number by dialing a dedicated code for an instant response at a cost of N10 per query.

”The query service is based on instant-request-instant-response and aims at providing utility for those who have enrolled on the BVN platform of the CBN.” (NAN)