CBN adopts digitalized signatories’ verification portal for banks

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With effect from September 2014, bank customers across the country may be asked to switch over to a new signatory verification portal being developed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for use by all banks.

The new portal is one of the efforts the CBN is adopting in
furtherance of its commitment to the development of a safe,
reliable and efficient system in the country.

The new portal is being developed in collaboration with the
Bankers Committee and other relevant industry stakeholders. The
CBN said the new signatories’ verification portal would replace the
existing printed signature booklets that banks distribute for
customers to complete on opening accounts.

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Such booklets contain authenticated signature of the customer that
banks can use to confirm instructions/ documents received from
other banks for verification of payments.

With the new industry portal, bank customers would be able to
verify such authorized signatures and instructions electronically
(online) throughout the country’s banking system.

According to the CBN, the new portal would be used by banks,
Registrars, Insurance Companies, Embassies and other users of
the printed signature booklets for various transactions to
avoid fabrication of letters as coming from the banks.

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The portal, the CBN said, is meant to digitalize the signature
booklet and also ensure that updates are made quickly as staff
change functions or move to other institutions.

To ensure a seamless transition to the new digital system, the CBN
said it has already directed all banks to liaise with the managers
of the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) PLC, which
provides the infrastructure for automated processing settlement of
payments and funds transfer instructions, for the required training
and access rights to the portal, amongst others.

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The CBN said the registration process and uploading of the
authorized signatories to the portal is expected to be completed on
or before August 29 2014.