The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said plans are in top gear to put in place a biometric database that will ensure the identification of all bank customers across the country.
Speaking at a workshop on “Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCIDSS) and Cash-less Nigeria”, the Deputy Governor (Operations) of the CBN, Mr Tunde Lemo said the Bankers’ Committee had taken a decision on Unique Identity, inaugurating a subcommittee headed by the group CEO of Zenith Bank.
According to him, “they are working very hard on the biometric-based unique identification portal that will be available to all banks, so that they can have a unique account database that would enable them have across the entire industry.”
Stating that the progress of the work of the subcommittee was being closely monitored, Lemo said the apex bank was working in partnership with the National Identity Management System (NIMS) to ensure the identification of customers.
He stressed the importance of perfecting the module for the banking industry before it was adopted, saying “it is important that we have what the banking industry can use before the NIMS concludes its work. The NIMS idea is very good and it is what we all need to migrate into in the future, but until that is done, we need to have something that the industry can use.”
He continued that when NIMS is ready, all the data may be migrated into its portal, adding that “we have not jettisoned any partnership with NIMS but the banking industry will have to hit the ground running with something that is unique to them, and will be available to all the banks.”
On Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCIDSS) and Cash-less Nigeria, Lemo said the fraud risk and security of e-payments channels have been a major concern for the apex bank, just as he assured that compliance with PCIDSS would help to mitigate risks associated with prevalent use of bank cards and payment channels.