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Nigeria pioneers Opening Banking in Africa

Nigeria pioneers Opening Banking in AfricaNigeria has signified a strong desire to become the first country in Africa, to officially adopt an Open Banking standard, which defines how financial data is created, shared and accessed.

This is a system, which also provides users with a network of financial institutions’ data through the use of a standard Application Programming Interface (API), enabling a customer to view and manage several accounts from a centralized location.

Recall that the Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) made this indication in its public request for information into the Payment Systems Vision (PSV) 2030, which would define the strategic agenda for the payment system in the next 10 years.

If plans scale through in good time with the implementation of PSV 2030, which is central to Open Banking, now being considered by the regulator as one of the top global trends and new practices in payments, the country would enact laws to ensure the speedy adoption of Open Banking across the financial services industry.

To this end, Nigeria would join other countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand that have followed the footsteps of the United Kingdom in developing and adopting a single API standard, for their respective financial ecosystems.

PSV 2030 is necessary because of the importance of having a strategy that is relevant for the Nigerian market domestically and for regional and global markets where Nigeria plays a role in international flows.

Meanwhile, the advocacy for Open Banking in Nigeria has been led by the Open Technology Foundation, also known as Open Banking Nigeria, a non-profit founded, Adedeji Olowe, said.

Already, through its advocacy, the Open Banking Foundation has facilitated the drafting of the alpha version of the API standard and on course to deliver a sandbox by third quarter of 2019.

He said beyond the benefits that would accrue to the economy, which would, of course, trickle to other countries on the continent and to the players in our financial services industry, the ultimate beneficiary is the customer, without whom no business would exist.

For its payment vision for the next decade, along with Open Banking, Nigeria is also considering other payment trends such as digital access, distributed ledger technology, big data and artificial intelligence, cyber-security, digital identity, machine learning and robotics process automation.

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