How to Generate a Virtual NIN (vNIN) for Bank Account Linking

Learn how to quickly generate a virtual NIN (vNIN) to link your Nigerian bank accounts and comply with CBN regulations. Avoid account restrictions!


Nigerian banks are actively urging customers to link their National Identification Numbers (NIN) to their bank accounts following a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive. This process can seem confusing, especially with the concept of a virtual NIN (vNIN).

This guide will clarify what a vNIN is and how to generate one for seamless bank account linking.

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What is a Virtual NIN (vNIN)?

A virtual NIN (vNIN) is a temporary, 16-digit alphanumeric code that acts as a secure alternative to your permanent 11-digit NIN. It’s designed to protect your privacy when verifying your identity with banks and other institutions.


Note: The vNIN expires after 72 hours for added security.

Why Do I Need a vNIN for Bank Account Linking?

Banks often request a vNIN during the account linking process to safeguard your sensitive NIN information. It allows them to confirm your identity without permanently storing your actual NIN.

How to Generate a Virtual NIN (vNIN)

There are two primary ways to generate a vNIN:

  • USSD Code:
    1. Dial *346*3*Your NIN*AgentCode# (use your bank’s agent code if they provide one)
    2. You’ll receive an SMS with your generated vNIN.
  • NIMC Mobile App:
    1. Download or update the NIMC MWS Mobile ID App.
    2. Log in with your existing NIN credentials.
    3. Select the “Get Virtual NIN” option.

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The CBN Directive: Why Link Your NIN

The CBN directive mandates that all Nigerian bank accounts must be linked with a NIN (and BVN for some account types) to avoid restrictions.

Linking your NIN helps streamline financial processes and reduce fraud.


Generating a vNIN is a simple and secure way to comply with the CBN’s directive, linking your bank accounts to your NIN. Following the steps outlined in this guide will ensure your accounts remain active and accessible.