19 November 2012

Nigeria: Banks to Commence Bio-Metric Capture for Customers

Nigerian banks under the auspices of the Bankers Committee will soon commence a bio-metric data capture exercise for all customers in the banking sector.

Managing Director of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, Mr. Umaru Ibrahim disclosed this at the just concluded seminar for finance journalists in Dutse, Jigawa state capital.

Ibrahim said that the banks are in arrangement to have such a system that will capture the data of all bank customers in the country.

He said that the national data system has not been forthcoming as such the banks have decided not to continue to wait for the purported national data system by the National Orientation Agency, but have decided to go ahead with their own data.

He said the banks are considering going into partnership with Pension Fund Operators, PFAs, because they have a similar system in the pension sector.

The banks, according to him, were advised to partner with the PFAs so as not to waste resources and because it will help the banking system.

Ibrahim said that an initiative to promote financial inclusion in Nigeria is the cashless policy designed to bring low-cost, secure and convenient financial services to urban, semi-urban and rural areas across the country especially through the mobile payment services.

Ibrahim said that the Central Bank of Nigeria and the NDIC as Nigeria's financial sector regulators, have an uphill task, improving financial inclusion given the relatively low level of penetration of financial services in the country.

According to the world bank, Nigeria under-performs most of its sub-Saharan African peers, with the widest disparity being in the category of percentage of adults who borrowed from a formal financial institution in the past 12 months. It is also reported that only 36 per cent of the adult population make formal use of financial services, Ibrahim stated.

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