The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is developing an electronic referencing system designed to quicken the process of opening bank accounts in Nigeria.
The current laborious process of opening bank accounts in Nigeria, the apex bank said, is one of the reasons why only few Nigerians have accounts.
“Besides the high illiteracy level and low confidence in the financial system, a major reason for this relatively small number of account holders in Nigeria is the inter-bank reference bottleneck which makes it difficult for new accounts to be opened speedily. At times, the prospective bank customers get frustrated and eventually abandon the process of opening a bank account,” CBN said.
“The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) Plc, in fulfilment of its shared- service mandate and in conjunction with the Committee of Heads of Bank Operations (CHBO) has agreed to develop an electronic reference (e-reference) portal, such that account opening processes of Nigerian banks can be fast-tracked with regards to inter-bank referencing.”
Through the new electronic reference system, documents required to open bank accounts will be sent electronically among banks through an internet based portal created and operated by NIBSS.
“The e-referencing system is a web-based automated document management system, designed to process customers account references, and is capable of eliminating the inefficiencies of the old ways of manual reference processing system,” Dipo Fatokun, director, Banking and Payments System, said.
“The implementation of this solution ensures that inter-bank references become faster, more efficient and traceable, by both the presenting and receiving banks. It is also designed to enhance compliance with the existing Know Your Customer (KYC) directives. The e-Reference Portal, which is hosted by NIBSS, requires that receiving banks respond to inward references within three working days.”