Mr. Tunde Lemo, Deputy Governor, CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed plans by the Bankers’ Committee to introduce a unique identity data for the banking industry.
The Deputy Governor, Operations, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Tunde Lemo, disclosed this in an interview with journalists on the side line of a workshop on “Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) and Cash-less Nigeria,” in Lagos.
Lemo said the plans by the committee were different from an earlier plan to collaborate with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on the matter.
According to him, a sub-committee, chaired by the chief executive officer of Zenith Bank Plc, was set up to drive the process.
He explained: “We want to harmonise the account numbers such that everybody will be uniquely identified, so that a customer will not dupe bank A and re-appear in another bank. The Bankers’ committee has agreed that for now, we are going to come together and invest in a common, ubiquitous data that will be available all banks
“The committee has taken the decision and is working hard on the biometric based unique identification portal that will be available to all the banks, so that we can all have unique account data based that will ensure that we have unique identification for all customers across the entire industry.
“I believe that the idea of the NIMC is very good, it is something that we all have to migrate to in the future, but until that is done, we want to have something that the industry can use and that is what we are doing. Today, the need for the banking industry to have unique data base is very compelling.”
Earlier in a presentation, the deputy governor, said that the number of Point of Sale Terminals (PoS) deployed by commercial banks have increased to 185,000, from 100,000 as at June.
However, Lemo acknowledged that not all the PoS machines in deployment are active.
“But we are working with the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) to improve the activity of the PoS machines from about 20 per cent presently to 100 per cent. The biggest challenge remains connectivity and we are also working on that, in collaboration with the telecommunication companies.
“There is no doubt that the Workshop is very auspicious, given the on-going drive towards migration to cash-less Nigeria. One major concern noted by the CBN during the stakeholders’ engagement sessions on cash-less Lagos was the fraud risk or the security of e-payments channels. I am delighted to note that compliance with PCI-DSS helps to mitigate risks associated with prevalent use of bank cards and payment channels,” he added.