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Virtual NIN, NIN Tokenization – All you need to know



The federal government recently introduced the Virtual National Identification Number (VNIN) to protect citizens’ data privacy.

With this, a person’s actual NIN is tokenized and represented by a virtual NIN, which cannot be retained or used in a manner that compromises their data privacy.

What is NIN Tokenization?

NIN tokenization helps safeguard a person’s data privacy by using a “disguised” or encrypted version of the NIN rather than the real NIN in routine transactions.

The NIN of the user is concealed by user IDs, QR codes, and even the verification log information on the MWS Mobile ID app. 

What is a Virtual NIN(VNIN)?

This Virtual NIN is also a tokenized version of the individual’s main NIN, which another party verifying the number cannot keep and use in a way that compromises the individual’s data privacy.

It comprises a 16-digit string of alphanumeric characters valid for 72 hours after it is generated.

You can use the Virtual NIN when digitally verifying your identity with an agent or enterprise that needs to confirm your identity before offering you a service(banks, airports, shopping delivery and so on).

How can you generate your VNIN?

You can get your VNIN on the NIMC’s MWS Mobile ID app or via USSD.

How to get your VNIN on the MWS Mobile App

  • Launch the MWS Mobile ID app on your device (Android or iOS). Check that you have the most recent version of the app installed or updated on your mobile device.
  • To proceed, enter your PIN on the lock screen.
  • On the “Home” screen, click the “GET VIRTUAL NIN” button.
  • Go over the “Enhanced Data Privacy” text.
  • Then, in the bottom right corner of the screen, click the “+” sign to generate a Virtual NIN for the verifying Enterprise you are dealing with.
  • To scan the Enterprise’s QR code or type in the Enterprise’s ID, tap on any of the available options.
  • A Virtual NIN is created for you to use only with that verifying Enterprise.
  • The Virtual NIN must be presented to the Enterprise for verification.
  • Once the Enterprise has completed the verification, you will be notified.

How to get your VNIN via USSD

  • To generate a Virtual NIN via USSD, dial *346*3*Your NIN*AgentCode#.
  • An SMS message containing the Virtual NIN generated for you will be sent to you.

What are the benefits of NIN tokenization?

  • Data privacy protection – others’ access to an individual’s NIN is further restricted. 
  • The generated token is encrypted and completely opaque, with no relationship to the NIN. 
  • The only exclusive issuer is the NIN holder. 
  • Tokens generated will expire after a specific time. 
  • Virtual NIN tokens are merchant-specific, which means that a token generated for company A cannot be used or verified by company B.


The information in this article was curated from online sources. NewsWireNGR or its editorial team cannot independently verify all details.

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