To chart a new course for the financial services industry in Nigeria and the African continent, Sterling Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s forward-looking financial institutions, has formally committed to the development of the Application Programming Interface (API) standard for financial institutions. First of its kind on the African continent, the initiative will ensure the launch of a standard and non-proprietary Open Banking API gateway in the country.
This revelation emerged with the recent successful signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between Sterling Bank and Open Technology Foundation, the nonprofit organization driving the development and adoption of Open Banking standards in Nigeria.
With the development of an API standard, it is expected that more banks and fintechs would be able to successfully meet the rapidly evolving demands of customers, in the same manner in which various applications, including social media, have also progressed to meet these needs. This is mainly because now there would be reference points and standards to guide.
“As always, it is our pleasure to be at the frontiers of financial innovation for not just the banking industry in Nigeria but also for stakeholders in the financial services industry across Africa,” said Olayinka Oni, Chief Information Officer, Sterling Bank. “We look forward to a future where more users of financial services can consistently access qualitative solutions real-time, save, manage their investments, and generally maximize their funds as they desire.”
“We are optimistic that by the token of our pioneering role in Open Banking, the opportunities for various players within the value chain have been broadened and that the ripple effects would trickle down into diverse segments of the economy,” Oni added.
Open Banking Nigeria would work with Sterling Bank through various stages for the implementation and delivery of APIs which would subsequently serve as the standard for banks and Fintech in Nigeria and consequently, the African continent.
Speaking on the development, Ope Adeoye, a trustee of Open Banking Nigeria, welcomed Sterling Bank as a leading partner for the launch of the first standard and non-proprietary Open Banking API gateway in Africa. “It is a delight to welcome Sterling Bank on board as a pioneer that would champion this initiative in Nigeria. We are convinced that it is a right step that would trigger numerous benefits to the financial services industry in Africa, its players and the economy of Nigeria and Africa as a whole.”
Sterling Bank Plc, known as “Your One-Customer Bank”, is a full service national commercial bank in Nigeria that prides itself in its purpose to ‘Enrich Lives’ and its vision to ‘be the financial institution of choice’ that delivers solutions that enhance stakeholders’ value through customer focus, integrity, teamwork and excellence.
Open Technology Foundation, a member of the Open Data Institute (ODI) community, is collaborating with banks, individual industry professionals, local Fintechs and global companies to define an open and non-partisan set of APIs. OTF had previously announced various partnerships to further drive the implementation of Open Banking API standards for the transformation of financial services in Nigeria.