It’s probably safe to say that only a few people have committed their Bank Verification Number (BVN) to memory. And since most people only use it when filling out a government form or signing up for a secure savings and investment platform like PiggyVest, it’s easy to forget.
In this article, we will be exploring how to check BVN online.
You can check your BVN online by visiting the NIBSS website, via Internet banking or on your mobile banking app. But you’ll need an internet connection and access to an internet-enabled device to use any of these three methods.
This article will explore how the BVN works and walk you through each of the methods on how to check BVN online. Don’t worry: it shouldn’t take you more than a minute or two to retrieve the details you need!
What is BVN?
For quite a while now, the BVN system has become synonymous with bank accounts, online payments and fintech services. But what exactly is a BVN?
A Bank Verification Number, or BVN, is a unique biometrics-backed 11-digit identification system for customers of financial institutions in Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issues and manages BVNs, which serve as a secure way for all financial institutions to verify user identities.
In simpler terms, your BVN is a number (like your phone number or National Identification Number) attached to your financial accounts that enables financial institutions to identify you and your financial transactions.
The Number was created in 2014 by both the CBN and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) as part of a move to centralise Nigeria’s Bank Verification System.
Today, the BVN serves as a powerful system for financial institutions to simplify the banking process for customers while preventing fraud and other financial crimes.
How to enrol for your BVN
The CBN mandates that all bank customers — both old and new — enrol for a BVN. So you can sign up for a BVN at any bank in Nigeria.
Here’s how to enrol for your BVN:
- Walk into any bank in the country.
- Head to the Customer Service section and ask for a BVN Enrolment form.
- Fill the form.
- Complete the required biometric process (fingerprints and facial capture).
- Collect the enrollment acknowledgment slip which contains a transaction ID.
- Wait for 24 hours to receive a confirmation SMS.
Afterwards, you can dial *565*0# BVN code to view your unique number.
Dialing this shortcode is the easiest way to check your BVN. However, it only works if you use the phone number linked to your BVN. You’ll also need to pay a service fee of ₦20 every time you check.
Thankfully, there are other (free) ways to check those 11 digits that make up your BVN online.
1. How to check BVN online using the NIBSS website
The NIBSS is an industry-owned company that manages the infrastructure powering electronic interbank transactions in Nigeria. And since your BVN serves as one of the core systems for banking, the NIBSS website has a dedicated BVN lookup tool to help verify and retrieve your details.
Here’s how to check BVN using the NIBSS’s website:
- Go to the NIBSS website using your mobile phone or a computer.
- Provide your name and date of birth in the required fields.
- Enter the phone number linked to your BVN.
- Click the “Submit” button.
- Select a preferred payment option and pay the required ₦20 verification fee.
You should see your 11-digit Bank Verification Number displayed on the screen if your details are correct and your BVN is valid. Note that, on occasion, the BVN lookup tool might be unavailable.
2. How to check BVN via Internet banking
Internet banking in Nigeria has grown in leaps and bounds since fintech services revolutionised savings and investment. Today, many internet banking platforms also include a page to confirm your details — including your BVN.
You can check your BVN via Internet banking by following these steps:
- Visit your Internet banking website.
- Sign in using your credentials.
- Check the menu for the “Account Settings” or “Account Details” option.
- Provide the necessary information.
You should now be able to view your account details.
Note that only some internet banking platforms allow you to view your BVN. The exact steps to access your details will depend on your bank.
3. How to check BVN on your mobile banking app
Mobile banking apps are all the rage these days. They are pretty easy to use and are usually considered reliable. And, like internet banking platforms, some mobile banking apps allow users to view their BVN.
Here are the steps to check your BVN on your mobile banking app:
- Sign into your mobile banking app.
- Click on the “Account Details” option.
- Select “Identification” or “BVN Settings” from the options.
- Provide the required information.
Please note that the steps above might vary depending on your app. And, of course, not all mobile banking apps include the option to view your BVN this way.
Can you ask your bank for your BVN?
But what if you’re unable to use any of the methods above? Say, you lose access to your BVN-linked phone number or can’t remember the code to check BVN? Can you ask your bank for your BVN?
You can ask your bank for your BVN, but you’ll need to visit a physical branch or speak to a customer service representative to get started.
Your bank will then tell you the next steps. But ensure you have a valid means of identification — like your Nigerian national ID card — when you visit.
Ultimately, the best way to check your BVN is via the *565*0# shortcode, but that works only if you are using the phone number linked to your BVN. The other ways to check are via the NIBSS website, via Internet banking or via your mobile banking app.
Remember that your BVN is sensitive information. Never share it on unverified or public platforms to avoid scams that may lead to serious consequences. You can also check out our article to learn how we keep you and your money safe at PiggyVest.
The articles on the PiggyVest Blog are developed by seasoned writers who use original sources like authoritative websites, news articles and academic journals to perform in-depth research. An experienced editor fact-checks every piece before it is published to ensure you are always reading accurate, up-to-date and balanced content.
- CBN: Payments System
- NIBSS: USSD Validation Service (*565)
- NIBSS: BVN
- TechCabal: How to check my BVN phone number and other details online
- Technext: How to check and update your BVN details online