The Federal Government, through the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), has introduced virtual National Identification Number (NIN) tokens known as “Tokenisation”.
A statement by the commission explained that the NIN Tokenisation is to protect people’s data privacy through the use of an encrypted, coded version of the NIN, instead of the actual NIN which is used for everyday transactions.
The major goal of the NIN Tokenisation, as explained by the NIMC’s Director-General, Engr. Aliyu Aziz, is to protect the personal information of the NIN holders.
The use of tokens instead of the actual NIN will eliminate or reduce incidences of illegal retrieval, usage, transfer, and storage of NIN, the NIMC DG noted.
The Tokenisation will also enable people who have NIN and are entitled to the National e-ID card to get visual and high-security representations of the National e-ID on IOS and Android smartphones.
According to Aziz, the full implementation of the Tokenisation commences on the New Year day.
Tokenisation is a set of digitally generated numbers (tokens) that NIN holders can generate anytime they need to identify themselves to service providers.
It is the encrypted, coded representation (disguised) version of the NIN and it’s officially known as Virtual NIN (VNIN).
When performing transactions that involve using NIN, you can provide the tokens instead of your actual 11-digit NIN.
This is to ensure that service providers or any other person do not retain your NIN or use it for activities that can you at risk.
The Virtual NIN will expire 72 hours after it was generated. It consists of a 16-digit set of alphanumeric characters.
You can use the Virtual NIN when you want to digitally verify your identity with a verifying agent or any enterprise that needs to confirm your identity before offering you service.
These include banks, airports, shopping delivery, etc. The NIMC MWS Mobile ID app which is available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store will have a feature that will enable users to generate the Virtual NIN.
To have the token, you must get: NIN issued by a NIMC Mobile phone registered in Nigeria and linked to NIN
Before the introduction of tokenisation, you must have shared your NIN with different service providers who in turn stored it, without your knowledge or the approval of NIMC.
Some of the service providers went on to use your NIN for other transactions without your knowledge or consent.
The NIN tokenisation will put an end to this because you will no longer need to submit your actual NIN but the token will expire after 72 hours.
This will give you rest of mind, knowing that your data is protected anytime you use NIN tokens.
The use of NIN tokens reduces the chance of NINs falling into wrong hands or being exposed to criminals.
In summary, the NIN tokens ensure: Data privacy protection – access to your NIN by others will be more restricted The generated token is encrypted and totally opaque with no correlation to the actual NIN You, the NIN holder, are the only exclusive issuer of the token Generated tokens will expire after a specific period Virtual NIN tokens generated are merchant-specific. That is, a token generated for company A can’t be used by company B.