Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan said the Bank will continue to lead the charge towards realizing the future of banking.
He also said that FirstBank will continue to demonstrate support for start-ups and innovators in the Fintech space by providing relevant data support and infrastructure to enable them to scale appropriately.
Speaking in Lagos at the Bank’s Fintech Summit 5.0 themed, ‘Open Banking and its Derivative Opportunities in the Financial Ecosystem’, Adetuntan maintained that every step taken by the bank continues to be geared towards strategically positioning the bank as the bridgehead and reference point for fintech and financial services providers across the African continent.
According to him, the Fintech summit is organized by FirstBank to create a global platform for conversations around the future of innovation in the financial technology space, adding that the objective is to contribute to the evolution of banking and finance service delivery.
“I am very optimistic that the financial services industry will benefit from the conversations at this year’s Fintech Summit. I am also positive that this platform will continue to come up with innovative solutions to further drive growth and deepen financial inclusion as we explore the inherent opportunities in Open Banking with other experts across industries,” he said.
Speaking further, Dr. Adeduntan noted that Open banking today demonstrates the practical fusion of these variables, presenting remarkable potentials that can redefine product development, customer experience and overall value creation; with multiplier effects for both players and consumers.
He said, the Regulatory Framework for Open Banking in Nigeria, issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the rules and premises, under which financial data sharing can take place across the financial ecosystem and the National Information Technology Development Agency’s (NITDA) Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) 2019, are demonstrations of the future of regulations around Open Banking.
“As an institution of 127 years and having traversed a series of regulatory transformations over the years, FirstBank will continue to play its role in furthering conversations to refine regulatory frameworks and shape thoughts on the industry and societal developments,” he said.
Also, Deputy Director, Payment System of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Musa said that the framework looked specifically around risk management that needed to be built.
Mr. Jimoh who was represented by Mr. Olubukola Akinwunmi of the apex bank said was of the view that the current framework has already indicated that the bank will be engaging industry stakeholders to come up with defined guidelines on how a number of the positions of the framework will be translated into operations.
“Eventually, when we go full blast open banking regime, we take care of the main concerns of customers. One of the main aspects of the open banking regime is the registry,” he said.
He, however, noted that the Open Banking registry would promote transparency and ensure that customers would know who they would be dealing with.
In his keynote address, Lead Faculty of Tekedia Institute Prof. Ndubuisi Ekekwe, described Open Banking as the mechanics where banks are required to share their market data through Application Programming Interface (API’s), which are third-party companies, to help to drive innovation.
Prof Ekekwe who spoke on the topic: ‘Open Banking: The Grand Unification of Application Utility Age’, called for the development of the credit system to grow the economy.
He maintained that Open Banking could create the credit architecture to help individuals to rise in the economic ecosystem.
“It gives retail customers the opportunity that their data can be aggregated, and with an analytic system, you can have an insight of what is happening within your banking experience. There will not be a catalytic evolution in Nigeria’s economic architecture without a credit system, which is urgently needed for us to have the opportunity of expanding our economy.
“I believe that open banking through data aggregation and the analytic system can also bring a national credit architecture that will make it possible for every one of us to rise and imagine every person with a Bank Verification Number (BVN) will have a credit score,” Ekekwe said.
He noted that with Open Banking, there will be a better insight of whom the customers are; adding that the knowledge system that can be acquired through the Open Banking ordinance is not just going to affect only the financial services, but the mortgage system, real estate and many more.
Ekekwe also noted that the nation’s agricultural sector needs an element of Open Banking because there is a need to know the customers, stressing that it is only when we know the customers that credit services can be offered.
He maintained that the banking sector remains the most innovative sector in Nigeria, saying that the BVN has become the standard to know who is who.