Banks, Customers And BVN Registration Brouhaha
MANY bank customers were stranded in Lagos on Monday as they were not able to withdraw their money due to what bank officials called incomplete registration or system error during the registration of their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN).
At the Union Bank, Oshodi, bank officials refused to pay some of their customers that were having issues with their BVN registration in their account details. Most of the affected customers had earlier done their BVN but could not use their ATM cards to withdraw money due to the issues they were having with their BVN. Some of them have had their accounts frozen or on hold. They have to re-verify their BVN.
One of the beleaguered customers, a student of Federal University of Technology, Owerri did her BVN in early May in Owerri, Imo State. “I did it at Union Bank, Douglas Branch, Owerri. I have been using my ATM to withdraw money before now. But today (Monday) when I wanted to collect money with my ATM, the card indicated ‘incomplete transaction’. I had to come to the bank to verify. They told me that my account is on hold or something. I gave them the option of calling the bank where I registered for them to send my BVN numbers.
My ATM has not been having problem since. Even there was one time I went to the bank to collect money with my teller, there was no problem. It is just today. I need money to go back to school,” she said.
Other banks in Lagos were swarmed with customers, either to complain or complete their BVN registration. At GTB by 7/8 Airport Road, Lagos, Christian Chidi said he registered for his BVN long ago at the bank.
He said since he registered, he has been doing all his bank transactions with his ATM card. “It is either I go to deposit or to withdraw money with my ATM card. I was at Sterling Bank today (Tuesday) to resolve the issue I have with the bank. They asked me to get my BVN number and tag it to my account. That is why I am in GTB now. Unfortunately, the crowd is just too much. Initially, we thought that once we registered in one bank, it will cover all other banks. Now, we have to collect the BVN numbers from one bank to the other,” Chidi said.
As for James Azubuike, he did his BVN registration about three months ago at UBA 7/ 8 Airport Road Branch, Lagos. “I have been using it to do my transactions. I have an account in GTB and Skye Bank. I went to UBA for a transaction and they asked for my BVN number. That was the day that I registered. I got an alert on my phone from GTB that I should come and register for my BVN again.”
He said he was asked to change the eight digit BVN numbers that he had been using for his transaction to 12 digits. “They say the BVN numbers I have is not correct, that I should go and rectify it where I did it. It is the same Nigerian factor that is responsible for all these problems,” Azubuike lamented.
On his part, Mr. Adeola Oluwole registered for his BVN at Zenith Bank, Ejigbo, Lagos last month.
“Since then, I have been using my BVN numbers for my bank transactions. Just today (Tuesday), I went to GTB. They said I need to rectify my BVN. I don’t know what happened. The problem started when I wanted to withdraw money with my ATM card at GTB and the machine said my card is invalid. I went inside the bank and they told me that
it is BVN problem,” Oluwole said.
He regretted that queues were too long to re-enroll or complete the BVN exercise. “The bank officials said it will be rectified after 72 hours if we cannot wait. But when I got to Zenith Bank, they were able to rectify it and everything is now working.”
Some customers also had issues with differences in account details. One of them, John Ikechukwu used three names for his account at Diamond Bank and he used two names to open his account at Sterling Bank. So he had issues to settle with the bank.
“For one, they say it will not merge. I used John Ikechukwu Magnus for the account in Diamond bank where I did my BVN. For my account with Sterling Bank, I used only John Magnus. I did not put the other name. Today I wanted to use my ATM card. The thing did not work. I came inside here and they said I have to do a new one. So, I have to add my middle name to this account. The finger print doesn’t count.”
One of the customers of First Bank at Ikotun, Lagos Mr Ola Babatunde, said he registered for the BVN at Diamond Bank but he did not receive any alert for his BVN number. “On getting to the First Bank, Ikotun I was told to dial *565*0# with the number I am using to receive alert from my Diamond Bank account and my BVN number appeared on my phone. I used it to fill the registration form I got from First Bank for them to link up with my BVN number.”
At Access Bank, Ikotun, everywhere was rowdy as some of the bank customers claimed ignorance of the BVN registration processes. One of them who came with her mother, said her mother did not know anything about the implication of not having the BVN numbers until she came to the bank to receive money and she was not paid.