Making banking more secure, convenient through verification number
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
The World Bank Group’s newly launched Global Financial Development Report 2014 on Financial Inclusion estimated that half the world’s adults, approximately 2.5 billion individuals, do not have an account with a formal financial institution.
Most of the unbanked cite barriers such as cost, lack of documentation, distance, lack of trust, or religious reasons. In any event, lack of access to finance is disproportionately skewed towards the poor, women, youth and rural residents. Defined as the proportion of individuals and firms that use financial services, financial inclusion is increasingly seen as critical for ending extreme poverty and supporting inclusive and sustainable development.
Mr Musa Shehu is strongly considering opening a bank account, but the disturbing story of how the banking public has lost huge sums of money to fraud and how a single individual can operate different accounts without being detected has kept him dissuaded. “How can one get himself involved in a banking system that does not have trust in itself let alone the trust of the banking public whose identity are being stolen on regular basis?”
This is the question agitating Mr Musa’s mind. He is confused and discouraged. But there seems to be hope for him and millions of other Nigerians who are in the same dilemma. The hope lies in a new technology that runs on biometric data.
The suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, shortly before his suspension, launched the second phase of the biometric system contract in February. He had said the proposed biometric authentication of banks ‘ customers, Point of Sale (PoS) terminals and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) would be one of the game-changers for financial inclusion in the country.
Customers’ thumb prints, photographs and other information will be registered in a special machine such that those who cannot read or write can also carry out banking