Islamic Finance

Open banking gives banks, Fintechs room to share data in Nigeria

Published 28 Sep,2020 via The Nation - Banks have accepted the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) directive to share customers’ data with financial technology (Fintech) firms under the open banking initiative.

The move is expected to reduce the number of the unbanked and provide better financial services to customers.

CBN Director, Payment System Management, Musa Jimoh made this known during the virtual FirstBank FinTech Summit 4.0 in Lagos with theme:”How Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence will disrupt FinTech in Nigeria.”

He said the directive was in line with the apex bank’s five-year vision and open banking regime policy that would require more collaborative data sharing within the industry to bring more people into the financial system.

Jimoh described Fintechs as technology-enabled innovation in financial services that could result in new business models, applications, processes or products with material effect on the provision of financial services.

Fintech firms like Quick-teller, MoniDey, Baxi, PocketMoni, Unified Payments, Paga, Cellulant, to mention but a few are now part of the financial system, offering banking services to both the banked and unbanked within the population.

The companies are helping consumers in bill payments, retail payments, airtime purchases and use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) transactions. They also collect payment from all spectrums of the population – whether banked or not.

Jimoh said the CBN is also boosting the use of artificial intelligence in banking, and promoting digital payment access all sectors of the economy.

“We have also released the quick response -QR Code framework which is expected to help drive the ecosystem, and provide a central database that will promote financial inclusion,” he said.

Also speaking, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, Chuma Ezirim, said FirstBank has already adopted the open data policy, and is partnering with Fintechs in getting more customers into the financial system.

“We work closely with Fintechs, and our relationship with them is mutually beneficial. If you are a Fintech and you want to leverage on our data to get more people into the financial system, we will oblige you and ensure that whatever agreement we reach with you on your business idea is protected,” he said.

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