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How BVN, Fintech Enabled the Growth of Digital Financial Services in Nigeria

The Bank Verification Number, BVN and the rise of the fintech sector have been pivotal to the growth of digital financial services in Nigeria. Mr. Ngozi Dozie, the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Carbon, disclosed this recently in a virtual interactive session that discussed the evolution of Nigeria’s digital financial landscape. 

According to him, the BVN has enabled KYC verification remotely for digital banks like Carbon and other financial institutions, improving service delivery in the industry. “Out of over 48m Nigerians enrolled in the Bank Verification Number system, Carbon has been able to access about 4.5m for digital financial services.”

Speaking further, he highlighted that the robust fintech ecosystem in Nigeria, with innovations driven by Paystack and Flutterwave, has improved the payments system in the country, with opportunities for digital banks to scale.

He added that even established commercial banks in Nigeria were adopting lending strategies through technology and were optimistic about the immense opportunities the fintech industry would bring to the economy.

Mr. Chijioke Dozie, Co-Founder and CEO of Carbon Digital Bank, asserted that it has made finance more accessible in the past decade, demonstrating that Nigerians are creditworthy.

Reacting to the concerns raised over the activities of “Loan Sharks” in the country, he noted that Supply and demand challenges in the country, but there is a need for more enforcement of the laws guiding the entire consumer protection process in the country. “There is a path for regulation and increasing awareness of convenient and credible platforms in the nation like Carbon.” 

In addition, he stated that customer-centricity and innovation leveraging data analytics had been the thrust of Carbon in its digital banking service. 

He acknowledged the role the likes of Carbon and Fairmoney have played in boosting digital banking services in Nigeria and agreed that an enabling regulatory environment, increased awareness, and innovative products would improve financial access in the country.

According to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), 54.77m Nigerians have Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs). It also stated that as of December 2021, there were 133.5m active bank accounts in Nigeria.

NIBSS also reported that N33.2trn in transactions were completed electronically in August 2022 through the Instant Payment platform, while the total value of e-payments in the last eight months reached N238trn.

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