The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is planning to replace PINs with biometric scans at ATMs, suggest comments made at this year’s Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum.
The news was broken by Dipo Fatokun, the event’s Chairman, who suggested that the biometric authentication will result from the implementation of a Bank Verification Number for individual consumers. Once the BVN is in place, he told attendees, biometric authentication will be used for ATM transactions. Fatokun also suggested that the functionality will arrive in the form of fingerprint authentication, stating, “There is no way you can give your finger to a third party.”
It would be a pioneering move from a state bank, but one that is perhaps less striking in Nigeria than it would be in many other countries. Nigerian authorities have already shown a strong enthusiasm for biometric identification of citizens, to a fault; an OPEC official pointed out earlier this year that there are 23 different government agencies independently collecting such data in the country, as he urged the federal government to centralize the management of such data.
In any case, the Central Bank’s pursuit of biometric ATMs may reflect a growing confidence in the security on the digital side of things, with CBN Deputy Governor Adebayo Adelabu declaring at the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum that internet fraud is on the decline and will not recover thanks to the bank’s security measures.
November 20, 2017 – by Alex Perala