Earlier in 2022, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) of Nigeria announced its intent to implement the tokenization of the National Identity Number (NIN), with the aim of protecting holders’ identities during verification processes.
Discontinuing the use of the regular 11-digit NIN numbers, the NIMC has introduced a Virtual NIN — a digital token — that is only available to individuals who already have a National Identity Number issued by NIMC, a mobile number registered in Nigeria and linked to their NIN, smartphone or feature phone with the SIM (or eSIM) with the mobile number.
Why did the NIMC set it up?
NIMC deployed the use of the Tokenization feature to be integrated across multiple verification channels and platforms in adherence to global best practices and in a bid to forestall flagrant abuse, harvesting of personal data without the requisite user consent, storage in an unencrypted and insecure database, misuse and, or negligent processing of the NIN by data processors and third parties,
The tokenization of the NIN by the (NIMC) provides a coded representation (“pseudonymization”) of the actual NIN such that identity verification service providers verifying the identity of a registered person cannot retain and use the individual’s data in a way that puts their data privacy at risk.
The Federal Government of Nigeria’s adoption of tokenization helps to ensure the privacy of personally identifiable information of individuals during verification transactions and reduces incidences of illegal retrieval, usage, transfer, and storage of NIN. The digital tokens also provide a secure means of presenting NIN in a format that can protect the NIN from seeding, cloning, and duplication.
How does it work?
With NIN tokenization, persons who have already been issued a NIN and are entitled to the National e-ID card would have a visual, highly-secure representation of the National e-ID which can only be generated via NIMC’s mobile app on IOS, Android app, and USSD Code. This tokenized version of the person’s NIN which may be referred to as “virtual NIN” or “vNIN” is then used by registered persons (Users) for verifying their identity with a verifying MDA, agent or enterprise who needs to confirm the User’s identity before offering service to such User.
This means that NIN will now be verified only in the vNIN format. The customer’s NIN is now represented by the vNIN which cannot be retained or used in a manner that compromises the privacy of the person’s data.
Only government-approved verification enterprises can now verify this virtual NIN and Dojah is one of the authorized verification enterprises. With government-approved licenses and reviewed endpoints, businesses can verify their customers’ identity using the customer’s uniquely generated vNIN which is generated on NIMC’s mobile app.
What if I have other questions about this?
Read our API documentation on Dojah’s vNIN Lookup and Verification Service or schedule a call with our support team. You can also send an email to [email protected]