BVN: Customers close account
As the October 31st deadline for the enrolment for the Bank Verification Number (BVN) ended yesterday, many banks across the federation were swarmed with customers on Friday to complete their BVN just as many closed down their accounts to avoid any backlash.
When The Nation visited some banks within Lagos metropolis and its environs, customersâ€™ turnout was massively high.
In Festac town, Mushin, Ikeja, Yaba, Maryland, Ojota, Ketu, Mile 12, Ikorodu and its environs, most of the banks were overflowing with customers who were desperate to be captured.
At Zenith Bank premises in Matori, Mushin area of Lagos, bank officials sweat it out to enrol customers for the BVN, as most of the customers formed long queues.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had extended the deadline for the BVN exercise to October 31 after banks were inundated by last minute customers to beat the earlier deadline back in July.
The Nation was reliably informed that the bank had anticipated the rush and had made provision with about three staff members handling the exercise of registering such customers outside while other banking activities went on inside.
Adeolu Olugbemi, a customer in one of the new generation banks told The Nation that due to his busy schedules he couldnâ€™t complete the BVN exercise hence he was forced to close down his bank account.
He said, â€œseveral times I came to my bank with the intention of doing my BVN but each time I came the whole place was overflowing with crowd and since I couldnâ€™t withstand the drudgery of standing on the queues for hours I had to close my account today (Friday). I canâ€™t afford to face CBN penalty.â€
Another customer who simply gave his name as Stanley told our correspondent he also couldnâ€™t complete the BVN. â€œI was at the bank yesterday (Friday), when I got there, they ask us to pick numbers and I was 120 on the queue. After waiting for over one hour it still didnâ€™t get to my turn so I had to close my account with the bank as suggested to me by one of the bank officials,â€ he said.
An official of Diamond bank in Wuse who also preferred not to be mentioned said although there was an upsurge of customers rushing to beat the deadline for the registration it was nothing compared to the previous deadline. She said the bank had made provisions and would ensure that they attended to all the customers at the bank for the registration.
At GT Bank Area 3 Garki, over 20 customers were seen waiting to either register or submit their BVN to the bank. One of the bankâ€™s customers, Miss Onyeche Audu said, â€œI am just entering the bank and I am sure I will leave here soon because the bank is really managing the crowd.â€
However, there were very few customers trying to carry out the BVN registration at Eco, Zenith, Fidelity, Stanbic IBTC and Unity banks.
Speaking with a cross-section of the officials of these banks, they confided in The Nation that they were optimistic that â€œafter the registration, the CBN would get the cards ready after which the banks would distribute them to their customers.â€
Meanwhile, a few hours to the close of banking business on Friday, the CBN issued a statement warning unsuspecting customers of the activities of those it described as â€œcertain unscrupulous individuals sending unsolicited mails and text messages to unsuspecting bank customers, alerting them to the deactivation or suspension of their bank accounts due to uncompleted Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration process.â€
The apex bank warned individuals and the general public that such â€œmessages are intended to lure bank account holders to reveal their personal details with which the fraudsters could use to defraud them.â€
The CBN and deposit money banks nor their employees or agents the statement said â€œwould mever call bank customers or send e-mail/text messages requesting for passwords, card details or personal identification number (PIN).â€
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