Bank Verification Number (BVN) is a scheme introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to issue a unique biometric identity to every bank customer in Nigeria.
The number is a unique set of eleven digits which contains costumers fingerprint, picture, name, address, contact details and other biometric identifiers.
The main purpose of the BVN is to curb fraud and other illegal financial transactions in Nigeria as customers can now be uniquely identified and traced. Rouge customers who will take loans from their banks and simply runaway to open another account in another bank can now be traced and blocked as they would be required to verify their fingerprints before opening a new bank account.
Individuals who wish to interact with Nigeria’s financial infrastructures need to have this number one way or another, as at July 2021, the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System PLC – the company that manages the issues BVN numbers reports that over 49million bank customers have been issued with the number.
As important as the BVN is, sometimes people have the need to change or correct their details that they’ve earlier supplied to the system. The process can be a bit tedious and sometimes annoying but almost all the details on one’s BVN can be changed save of course your fingerprint and picture. The most common changes people make include changes to their date of birth (DOB), phone number, names and the address on their BVN.
Some might have genuine reasons to change their details, for example married women who wish to change their names, or people whose details was wrongly captured at the point of registration, on the other hand there will be people who want to change their details in a malicious attempts to evade authorities or commit frauds. This is why bank officials have been instructed to go the extra mile to verify every document submitted to them.
If you have the need to update your BVN details, this article will guide you on how to effectively change your DOB, phone number, name or address on BVN in Nigerian banks.
You cannot carry out any changes to your BVN details online, you have to go to your bank, the bank will scan your fingerprint to access your details on their system.
Most of the documents you will be required to provide for any update is usually combination of your valid ID card ( international passport, driver’s license, voter’s card, National ID card) sworn court affidavit and newspaper announcement notifying the public of any changes.
How to place a newspaper advert for change of name
You must have seen those little boxes inside a newspaper, with people announcing their change of name to the public. If you require one, you can place an advert order with any daily newspaper. You can place an order with Tribune online with just N3,000
- Go to the Tribune newspaper online portal
- Fill out the online form.
- You will be required to submit a copy of your affidavit from court confirming the changes required
- Pay the sum of N3,000 with your debit card
- You will be notified via email when your announcement will be published so you can purchase a copy of the paper.
Change is the only constant thing in our lives, and sometimes when this change happens one might be required to update their official documents, for example, a woman who just got married and wished to change from her maiden name to her husband’s name or sometimes an update might be required through no fault of yours for example if your documents contains spelling errors. Some of the most common reasons for update has been enumerated below with how to rectify them
- Change of name due to marriage
- Spelling errors
- Change of faith
- Discovery of new information
How to change your BVN name after marriage
For women who wish to take their husband’s name after marriage or for those who wish to revert back to their maiden names due to divorce or death of partner, the process is a bit similar. Change of name is considered a big deal for obviously reasons so customers need to show robust evidence for it.
Applicants have to go to their banks with the following documents:
- A valid government-issued identity card (international passport, drivers’ license, voter’s card, or national ID card). The ID card must be valid, meaning be mindful of the expiry date and make sure it is not expired.
- Your marriage certificate or a notarised/court affidavit stating that you got married to a spouse who’s lastname you wish to effect a change of name on BVN to.
- A newspaper publication, notifying the general public that you are now changing from your maiden name to your spouse’s name because of marriage. This publication can be done at any of the national dailies. You will need show an original copy of the newspaper at your bank, remember to buy one and take it along.
- An official letter instructing your bank to effect the change of name on your BVN.
Change on BVN details for married women who want to revert back to their maiden names
Basically, you’d require:
- A valid government-issued ID (international passport, drivers’ license, voters card, or national ID) that carries the proposed maiden name. The ID card must be valid.
- Your signed divorce papers or any other official document that suggests that you’re no longer married to your spouse.
- A notarised/court affidavit stating:
a. The proposed name
b. That you’re the same person
c. That you are no longer married to your spouse.
- A newspaper publication, notifying the general public that you are now changing from your old name to your maiden name. This publication can be done at any of the national dailies.
- An official instruction to the bank to effect the change of name on your BVN.
BVN update due to spelling error
If it happens that, through no fault of yours, at the point of initial registration, your name was misspelled by the operator, for instance, if “Peter” is spelled as “Petr”, this can be regarded as an obvious spelling error which will be treated as a low-risk transaction by your bank. This might affect your ability to use other banking services most especially if your name doesn’t match what is on your other identity documents.
A valid government-issued ID (international passport, drivers’ license, voters card, or national ID). This is all you need. You will be made to present the original copy, this would be verified, and your change will be effected according to what appears on your ID.
BVN update due to Change of faith
When you first registered for your BVN, information about which religion you practice will be asked from you. While you don’t need any documents to prove your change of faith, it might happen that when you changed your faith you also changed your name, in that case you will be required to present the following supporting documents to your bank
- A valid government-issued ID (international passport, drivers’ license, voters card, or national ID). This MUST be in your new name, arranged in your desired order.
- A newspaper publication, notifying the general public that you have effected a change of name and a brief reason.
- A written application to the bank to effect a change of name due to faith on your BVN. This reason should be clearly stated.
- NB: This reason is regarded as high-risk because males are not expected to change their names all their lives.
Discovery of new information
If you just got wind of a discovery of something new, which renders a standing information false, then you need to effect a change of name on BVN to avoid BVN linking issues. BVN problems can be frustrating. Personal details like date of birth or name spelling are very personal and important. Thus this must be made correct and consistent in all your banks.
A valid government-issued ID (international passport, drivers’ license, voters card, or national ID).
An evidence showing genuine reason to effect the change of name on BVN e.g, birth certificate, a court-sworn affidavit
BVN update due to wrong date of birth
A lots of people have the wrong date of birth on their BVN, some might have mistakenly registered the wrong details, while the most common case is that of underaged people who intensionally entered the wrong age in other to open and operate a bank account. The legal age to open and operate a bank account in Nigeria is a minimum of 18 years old.
If you require to change your BVN date of birth, here are the requirements.
A copy of your birth certificate
If you don’t have one, then a sworn court affidavit.
Government issued ID card ( international passport, voter’s card, driver’s license, or national ID card)
FAQ on BVN numbers
Can I have two BVN with different names?
No. You only get one unique set of eleven digits for biometric verification, the number is attached to your fingerprints so the system will automatically flag you if you try to enroll for the second time. If you wish to update your name(s) on your BVN, follow the steps above.
Can I change or update my BVN details in any bank?
No. You have to go to any branch of the bank in which you were first enrolled. If you’ve enrolled a long time ago and cant remember where you did, the CBN issued the mandate to banks around 2014 to start enrolling their costumers, you just have to remember which bank you were using around that time.
Can I change or update my BVN details online?
No. You have to show up at the bank where you enrolled with all your necessary document(s) to effect a change. You can however link you existing BVN to new bank accounts online.
As the Nigerian government is trying to now digitalize the country’s economy and issue every citizen with a unique digital identity, it is important to make sure that all your information is the same across all platforms. Be mindful of your name, date of birth, and other details to make sure they match on your BVN, NIN, voter’s registration, international passport, driver’s license and any other official documents you maybe required to register for.