CBN to embrace Open Banking System

CBN to embrace Open Banking Systems

As the banking system moves to deliver quality services to consumers in the 21st century driven by new technological advancements, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has declared its interest in Open Banking System which grants bank customers easy access to their data and opening the financial system to applications and other services.

This was disclosed by the deputy director, Banking and Payment System, CBN, Mr. Musa Itopa Jimoh who represented the apex while speaking on ‘How regulations will impact consumers behaviour in open banking era’ at the Ennovators Breakfast Series in Lagos, a forum that attracted many industry stakeholders and organized by eMaginations. Jimoh said that “CBN is looking at how to raise the standard for all banks and fintechs to plug in.” According to Jimoh, Open banking system will have great impacts on the banking system customers, noting that banks that will drive the economy are those with quality data and that uses it creatively. Open banking system is operational in Europe as Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2). Similar other implementations are ongoing in Hong Kong and Australia, and new digital finance ecosystem such as WeChat and Alipay are emerging in China based on data sharing capabilities.

The apex bank deputy director also disclosed that “CBN is working behind the scene to create Payment Service Directive (PSD3).”   Highlighting the benefit, he said the banks will be able to ensure the customers based on available data, which allows the banks to understand the behavior of the customers. One of the restrictions on financial inclusion is the high cost of service.’’ According to him, “banks are sitting on huge amount of data but they are not doing anything about it.

Banks have the data of all the drivers in Nigeria since all drivers renew their license in the banks. Disruption will happen in the banking system which will make bank customers demand certain service and banks will be forced to offer the service.” Jimoh said that a bank can use data to determine customers’ behavior in order to understand what kind of service to offer to them. “That the banks should be able to indemnify the customers based on available data, which allows the banks to understand the behavior of the customers,” he said, adding that the banks need to come up with a standard for open APIs.

He said that one of the deterrents to financial inclusion is the high cost of service, stating that the CBN is looking at how to raise the standard for all banks and fintechs to plug in, adding that data privacy and confidentiality is also very important. He assured that the before the year ends, the apex bank will see how to engender open banking initiative. In a related development, a group of top banking industry professionals and FinTech companies in Nigeria have established Open Banking Nigeria with the goals to promote, develop and implement a common standard for Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

A statement from the organization stated that underwriting models are emerging from access to alternative source of data like mobile phone usage in East Africa. In the United States, large banks are striking data sharing deal with individual partners in a departure from aggregator model. While stressing the mission of the organization, Adedeji Olowe, spokesperson for Open Banking Nigeria, said the objective is to rally the industry to adopt the open banking model so that the industry can improve customer experience, “develop new revenue streams and build a sustainable service model for traditionally underserved markets.”

He said Open Banking Nigeria will rally the industry to develop processes and governance underpinning the technical connections. “We will assist banks and Fintechs alike to position themselves for success in a new environment and to anticipate the likely customer impacts,” he added.

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