In a bid to further computerize Nigeria’s banking system, the Federal Government of Nigeria introduced the concept of the Bank Verification Number, popularly known as the VPN. On the surface, it’s only an 11-digit number that connects all of your bank accounts.
Realistically, your BVN does more than just connect your banks, as you’ll learn from further sections in this article. You get the number automatically when you try to create your first bank account in the country, and you’ll need it to create any subsequent ones.
Since it’s an 11-digit number that you don’t have to use every day, it’s not uncommon to forget it. To that end, this article will discuss some of the easiest ways to check your bank verification number.
How Do BVNs Work?
The bank verification number works as an identification number for an individual but in the banking sphere. It qualifies you to own bank accounts and carry out banking activities legally in Nigeria.
When you first register for your first BVN, that’s likely what you’ll be using till the end of time. A Bank verification number should be unique to every person, and whatever you’re assigned when you register for the first time should be yours forever.
If you already have a bank account that isn’t linked to a BVN, you can always walk into any of your banks to enroll in the exercise. Once you get the number from any bank, you can also link it to any other bank with which you have or will be having accounts.
The BVN system works by storing a bulk of your biometric data using the number as a key. If you decide to change any information about yourself in the future, you must also update it with your BVN.
While there have been many complaints about the privacy of a number that stores all your biodata, it seems the Nigerian government is unfazed. As long as you’re willing to hold a bank account in the country, you must own and know your BVN.
Talking about knowing, it takes quite a lot to remember an 11-digit number with everything going on in the country. If you’re finding it difficult to recall your number, don’t fret; this article will help you remember it by teaching you how to check your BVN.
How to Check Your BVN
Since the Bank Verification Number is meant to connect all your bank accounts, you’ll need to provide it each time you’re creating a new bank account. Speaking from experience, it’s genuinely difficult to try to recite the number straight from memory, even with its pretty short length.
Since the Central Bank of Nigeria is also aware of the difficulties associated with recalling the number, they came up with a system designed for Nigerians to check their bank verification numbers.
The system works primarily by USSD, and it works across the four major cellphone networks in Nigeria. For a minimal fee, you can check your BVN number by dialing a simple code from the number you used to register for it.
Here are the different methods you can use to check your BVN directly from your smartphone using specific USSD codes.
How to Check BVN on MTN
MTN is the most popular cellphone network in Nigeria, making it likely that you’re using an MTN SIM on your primary device. However, using the network on your primary device isn’t the only requirement you need on a particular SIM to use for checking your bank verification number.
In short, you must also ensure that you opened the BVN using that specific number. If you try entering the USSD code for BVN on a random SIM, you’ll (rightly) get the message that it hasn’t been enrolled for the service yet.
Once you’re certain that your MTN number is what you used to register for your BVN, dial *565*0# on your smartphone to check your BVN. While the bank verification number itself may be hard to memorize, we can all agree that this USSD code isn’t.
After some processing, your smartphone should display your BVN after deducting a service charge. The service charge is typically NGN20, but you want to have more than that before attempting a check to be on the safe side.
How to Check BVN on Glo
The steps for checking your BVN number on Glo are more or less the same as doing it on Airtel. To make everything easy for everyone, the Central Bank of Nigeria makes the USSD code universal across all cellular networks operating in the country.
If you’re sure that you enrolled for the BVN using your Glo SIM, dial *565*0# from the SIM to see your BVN. Like in the case with MTN, you’ll also have to pay the NGN20 service charge, which is a small price to pay for helping to remember the number.
How to Check BVN on 9mobile (Etisalat)
If you use the embattled 9mobile, you can also check your BVN by dialing the same USSD code as MTN and Glo subscribers. Like MTN and Glo subscribers, you also need to pay the NGN20 service charge for the process to work at all.
Of course, you’ll need to ensure that you indeed created your first bank account using the Etisalat number. If you’re switching SIMs along the way, you can show up at your bank for a change in BVN records, which in this case is your phone number.
How to Check BVN on Airtel
A sizeable number of Nigerian cellphone subscribers use Airtel, making it unfair to leave them out of this discussion. Like the rest of the pack, you can check your BVN on Airtel by dialing *565*0#, a code that always works, as long as you have up to NGN20 on your phone’s balance.
And that sums up all you need to know about checking your bank verification number on your smartphone. If none of the instructions in this article work for you, it’s likely because you’re trying it from a phone number that’s not enrolled on your BVN records.
If that happens to be the case, you can correct it by showing up at your bank with valid records of identification and your new phone number. After changing your phone number, you should now be able to check your BVN directly from your new phone number without errors.