So, over the last few days, it finally became public that access to BVN Verfication Services is no longer available except you are licensed by the CBN. And, if you are one of the licensed players that has access to it, you cannot extend the service to anyone unlicensed. That’s all well and good — BVN is a banking industry data asset, and its their prerogative to do as they please with it.
Of course, the issue is that many of us in the tech community have built our KYC, customer onboarding, and identity-based risk management around the BVN. So, everyone is understandably panicking. Are there alternatives?
The Good News
The good news is this — except you are opening and operating tier 2 and tier 3 accounts, you are not really mandated to take BVNs for KYC. Any of the other government issued identity tokens will do. The current largest of these is the NIN with nearly 60 million people. Others include Drivers License, International Passport and Voters Card.
Keep The Innovation With CREDEQUiTY
We at CREDEQUiTY have built our services to take any of these — Phone Number, NIN, Drivers License Number — and we will provide the full KYC for the customer. In addition, your customers can simply take pictures of the ID, and we can read the data off the image using OCR, and validate the ID. So, you can plug into this seamlessly. Here’s a video of how it works.
You can look at the API documentation HERE and a view from Postman to show some of the data points available below.