Frequently Asked Questions about Open Banking

Since Open Banking Nigeria began operations in 2017, we have been at the helm and fore-front of the open banking initiative working together with various stakeholders to ensure that open banking comes alive.

Most of our conversations with the industry usually lead to very common and frequently asked questions that we’re here to clear up for good.

What is Open Banking?

Open banking is a standardization that allows secure sharing of financial data with authorized third-party developers. It allows customers consent to third-party apps and services, allowing them to access and use their banking data to provide them with tailored solutions. This, in turn, boosts competition, drives innovation, and enhances customer experiences in the financial industry.

Listen to one of our trustees talk about open banking here.

What is Open Banking Nigeria?

Open Technology Foundation popularly known as Open Banking Nigeria (OBN) started in 2017 with the primary purpose of issuing an open banking era in Nigeria. OBN is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and technology-agnostic organization. As such we do not and would not operate services. The API documentation we host on our website is for reference only and the sandbox that we are currently building is for testing purposes only.

Can I use Open Banking APIs?

Not yet. Open Banking is a standard and not a specific set of APIs that you can use for transactions. When the implementation of this standard is complete, banks would adopt this standard to build their own APIs and you can connect directly to them. Our technology manager addresses this succinctly on our YouTube channel. Watch below.

How can I join open banking?

You can join the open banking movement in different ways. As an organization, you can become a member of the Open Technology Foundation by registering here. Joining the foundation will give you firsthand access to the updates, initiatives and activities that pertain to open banking in Nigeria. For more information about joining the movement, you can watch one of our Open Banking in 60 seconds videos.

Is Open Banking simply what companies like Mono and Okra do?

Not entirely. Companies like Mono and Okra have created products that apply open banking principles to some extent. However, open banking in itself is beyond just a product but a standard and an approach to development, process and security that transcends what we currently have in place. The standards will create a uniform approach of building products similar to what Mono and Okra have built.

How many bank partners does OBN have?

Currently, OBN has 9 bank partners in total. In addition to that we have 46 other members from other industries such as fintech and consultancy. These partners have aided the open banking initiative is several ways and continue to do so. You can see all OBN members/partners via our website here.

How secure is my data with Open Banking?

Open Banking ensures security through strong API standards, requiring robust encryption, secure authentication (like OAuth), and regulatory oversight. Customers must give explicit consent for data sharing, with granular control over what is shared and for how long. Institutions enforce stringent authentication and access controls, monitor API access for anomalies, and conduct regular audits. Educational efforts help users understand risks and best practices. While challenges like data breaches exist, Open Banking’s framework aims to provide a secure environment for financial data sharing and innovation. Listen to one of our trustees discuss this further.

Does Open Banking Nigeria have a product?

Currently OBN is developing an industry middleware and sandbox that would serve as a guide to the API providers and API consumers on the implementation of the Open Banking APIs as defined by the CBN. This middleware is still in development. Once completed, there are several use cases and products that open banking would serve and improve. Below we touch on one of the use cases which is for financial management.

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