By Paul Chika Emekwulu
The abbreviation BVN stands for Bank Verification Number, a project launched by the Central Bank of Nigeria on February 14, 2014 in collaboration with Bankers Committees. Bankers Committee is made up of chief executives of banks and senior management of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
It is one of those personal numbers anyone who has a bank account has to use and protect.
Your BVN is used to verify your identity to prevent fraud and other nefarious activities which are common in this time of online banking.
There are other forms of identification numbers, some on federal level such as national identification number (NIN), others on state levels such as Anambra State social service identification number used to be popularly known as ASSID number but now Anambra State identity number (ASIN).
These are all for your protection. Your BVN which is specifically for your bank transactions can be retrieved from the phone you used to create it. This phone is linked to your bank account. You can retrieve your BVN by dialing “565*0#.
For your BVN, take note of the following:
(a) Make sure you’ve sufficient data balance on your phone. (b) To check your data balance, dial *556#. (c) Delete your BVN as soon as possible to avoid being tampered with should your phone get into a wrong hand. (d) Always be ready to make your BVN available whenever and wherever asked.
Now, one day I went to the bank for a quick transaction. The bank official needed my BVN, I’ve one but unfortunately, I couldn’t give it to him because I’ve not memorized it yet.
“Not a big deal, after all my records could be accessed with my bank account number, so why worry about BVN,” I thought. I’ve never had a need to use it having been absent from the country for a while.
Now, like some people, I didn’t save it in my phone. It is not my habit to do so. Doing so is very risky should your phone get lost. Therefore, for such numbers like BVN, I’ ve to memorize them. Before then I hadn’t done so for my BVN as already mentioned.
Among others, I memorized personal numbers of interest including:
(1) A 10 – digit bank account number
(2) A 14 – digit library card number
(3) A 9 – digit social security number
(4) A 10 – digit ANSSID number
(5) Just for fun I once memorized a 20 digit EEDC (Enugu Electricity Development Corporation, formerly NEPA) token number.
Now, since I didn’t have my BVN, I decided to go home and come back the next day. As I wanted to leave, the bank official said he could pull it up from his system. He really did. I knew he could do that but I wanted to use the opportunity to find a way to end such an embarrassing moment because it was embarrassing. The BVN was retrieved from the system and I had my transaction completed.
While on my way home I started to think of how to avoid a repeat performance of what transpired at the bank because such a moment could come up again.
I succeeded. How? That’s next.
Well, I devised a simple mathematical formula that involves first, squaring a two digit number, adding a one digit number to the second block of three digit number of the BVN, while the last four digits remain constant (unchanged). It worked and that became a personal, unique formula for generating my BVN anywhere, anytime. The 11 – digit BVN is now memorized. I’m happy to say that as of this moment no more squaring of numbers, no more adding etc. and of course, no more embarrassment. I go through the formula at times to confirm my BVN and out of fun as well. I provide my BVN anywhere and anytime it is needed from memory. Since then I’ve been to that particular bank several times and each time my BVN was demanded, it was from memory.
Do the same for your BVN by finding a means to memorize it. It doesn’t necessarily have to involve any or all the four rules of Arithmetic – addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication as in my own case. Whatever means, the goal is the same – to retrieve your BVN from memory.
It is important to mention that each time you retrieve your BVN via your phone, you’re charged the sum of 20 naira. In addition, let this be your motivation in memorizing your BVN because each time you get involved in a BVN based transaction, you’re saving money.
Therefore, in addition to convenience and safety, memorize your BVN and guard it jealously. Bank safely!
Paul Chika Emekwulu is a professional speaker, seminar presenter, an international bestselling author, publisher, and an Igbo Language activist.