Bank Verification Number-BVN is a biometric identification system put in place by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The biometric identification system was created to put a stop to the rise in illegal banking activities and bank fraud.
The eleven-digit BVN is intended to uniquely verify the identity of every bank account owner through facial recognition and fingerprint verification. The good thing about the BVN is that a bank account owner only needs one BVN for identification even if they have more than one bank account under different commercial banks. The BVN is simply linked to all the bank accounts registered under their name.
How do I retrieve my BVN on First Bank?
There are not a lot of ways to check what your BVN number is and this has been done intentionally to keep the number secure and safe from fraudsters and illegal transactions.
The first way to know what your BVN is is to get to any branch of your bank. Visit the customer care office of the bank and state what you need to any customer care staff there. Information such as the bank account number used to register the BVN, the phone number linked to the BVN/bank account, your name as it appears and other necessary information. Once you provide all the correct information you’ll be given a printed document with your information including your Bank Verification Number (BVN).
The second way to know what your BVN is is to use the approved USSD code-*565*0#. You have to dial the USSD code using the phone number registered to your bank account. Once the code is dialed your BVN will pop up immediately. It is important that you write out the number immediately to ensure you don’t forget, you can also take a screenshot immediately after the number pops up.
For security reasons, it is advisable to write your BVN somewhere safe and to delete any screenshots after writing them down in a safe place. This is because a fraudster can gain access to your bank account details and funds with your BVN. Also, you’ll be charged #20 every time you dial the USSD code to check your BVN.
How do I check my BVN if I lost the phone number linked to my bank account?
Your phone number, and in essence your sim card, has gradually become more important for banking activities over the years. This is why it can be quite unbearable to lose the phone number that is registered to your bank account especially if you’re unable to retrieve the lost, stolen or damaged sim card.
However, even if your sim is lost, stolen, or damaged and you can’t access the phone number linked to your bank account and BVN, there are still steps you can take to regain access to your bank account and BVN.
Although the process to get a new phone number linked to your bank account and BVN can be arduous it is still a better option than leaving it in the hands of possible fraudsters or being unable to make certain bank transactions on the account.
To change the phone number linked to your bank account and BVN:
- Get a sworn affidavit. You’ll need to go to a reputable and approved court around you to attest to the fact that you own the lost sim card.
- Get a valid ID card. You’ll need an approved form of identification that bears the same name as your bank account.
- Go to your BVN bank. Your BVN bank is the bank where you first registered your BVN and you don’t need to own an account with the bank before you can make the necessary changes there.
- Request for a change in BVN phone number. Be careful to not mix up your BVN phone number with your bank account phone number especially if you have an account with the bank where your BVN was registered.
- Authenticate your information and identity at the bank. Your ID card, biometrics and facial image will be used to validate your information before your BVN phone number is updated to the new number.
This process and update will take between 24-and 48 hours before the change is effected. You can confirm the change by dialing the USSD code *565*0# to check your BVN.