It is not uncommon for people to forget to notify their banks whenever a personal information about them has changed.
Bank users specifically tend to forget to inform their banks whenever they change or lose their phone numbers, even though this common mistake can be costly as it may grant unauthorized access to their bank accounts.
A phone number is one of the key requirements of opening a bank accounts in Nigeria, as it serves as an important medium through which your bank can reach you or send important updates such as bank alerts.
Phone numbers attached to bank accounts can also be used to authorize money transfers, airtime purchases and other transactions using a mobile communication technology called Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).
And because network providers can re-issue phone numbers that haven’t been in use for a long time to new customers, bank customers risk granting unauthorized access to their accounts if they fail to update their phone numbers with their banks when they lose or change them.
Guaranty Trust Bank sent out an email to its customers on Wednesday, cautioning them on the dangers of not updating their personal information like phone numbers as soon as they stop using them.
“When you stop using your mobile number over a long period of time, your service provider could reissue the number to someone else.
“That is why it is important to make sure that your old mobile number is no longer linked to your bank account. You can do this by updating your personal and contact information with us,” read the bank’s email.
Meanwhile, bank customers can take preemptive measures by contacting their banks and network providers immediately their phone is missing or stolen.
Financial institutions can help prevent unauthorized access to customers’ accounts by temporarily restricting the phone number attached their accounts from carrying out any transactions.
This is important as fraudsters can easily retrieve customers’ Bank Verification Number (BVN) by dialing some USSD codes and use same to carry out transactions on the accounts online.