Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) has been eulogised as the most impactful Nigeria’s Fintech firm because of the influence its solutions are having across several sectors of the economy.
Dr Andrew Levin, the Chief Economist at PwC, Nigeria who disclosed this at the 2019 Lagos Fintech Week singled out the NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) and Bank Verification Number (BVN) for commendations.
The NIP is an account-number based, online-real-time inter-bank payment solution developed in 2011 by NIBSS. It is the Nigerian financial industry’s preferred funds transfer platform that guarantees instant value to the beneficiary.
The NIP service commenced with only two commercial banks as participants. However, today, the number of participants has grown to include all commercial banks, microfinance banks (MFBs), and mobile money operators (MMOs).
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Over the years, the Nigerian banks have exposed NIP through their various channels i.e. internet banking, branch, kiosks, mobile apps, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), PoS, ATM, etc to their customers.
On the flip side, BVN gives a unique identity that can be verified across the Nigerian banking industry and not peculiar to one bank. The customers’ accounts are protected from unauthorized access.
The BVN enhances the banking industry chances of being able to fish out blacklisted customers.
According to Nevin, the NIP developed by NIBSS is about the most sophisticated in the world of the financial system today.
“NIP is an incredible solution and is much more advanced than instant payment solutions in many countries including my home country, Canada,” he said.
Nevin noted that the BVN has a huge impact on corruption, ghost workers, money laundry, and terrorism financing. “So, let us give big hands to NIBSS for what the firm has accomplished so far in this country,” he affirmed.
Incorporated in 1993 and is owned by all the licensed banks including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), NIBSS commenced operations in June 1994.
It has put in place modern world-class infrastructures for handling inter-bank payments in order to remove potential bottlenecks associated with inter-bank funds transfer and settlement.
NIBSS also operates the Nigeria Automated Clearing System (NACS) which facilitates the electronic clearing of cheques and other paper-based instruments, electronic funds transfer, automated direct credits and automated direct debits.