In a bid to reduce the amount of fraud and money laundering in Nigeria, the banks have begun on a massive biometrics project. They have started registering the fingerprints and facial features of customers.
This project will see commercial banks record the details of the locals over the next few months, the project is controlled by the Central Bank of Nigeria..
The data will then be used to help identify customers at ATMs and the point-of-sale, reducing the opportunity for fraud.
The central bank also hopes that biometrics will help to move Nigeria away from a cash-based economy to a credit-based one by making it easier for lenders to identify borrowers.
Central Bank governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanus told All Africa that the system would also help spread financial services to remote, rural areas of the country and enable banks to cut costs by sharing physical infrastructure.