The Central Bank of Nigeria has issued the regulatory framework for Open Banking in Nigeria in its efforts to enhance data sharing across the banking and payments system to promote innovations and broaden the range of financial products and services available to bank customers.
This was disclosed in a recently released circular titled ‘Operational guidelines for open banking in Nigeria’.
Open banking is a banking practice in which third-party financial service providers are given open access to customer banking, transaction and other financial data from banks and non-bank financial institutions via application programming interfaces (APIs).
According to the CBN, the Regulatory Framework for Open Banking in Nigeria established principles for data sharing across the banking and payments system to promote innovations and broaden the range of financial products and services available to bank customers.
The CBN stated that the guideline to data in the financial sector would enable customers to access innovative financial products and services. “Open banking recognises the ownership and control of data by customers of financial and non-financial services, and their right to grant authorisations to service providers to access innovative financial products and services. This is anticipated to drive competition and improve access to banking and payments services,” the apex bank stated.
CBN added, “Participants in open banking shall adhere strictly to security standards when accessing and storing data, and shall be subject to minimum privacy standards, operational standards, risk management standards and customer experience standards as prescribed by the Bank.”
The CBN stated that the open banking proposition allows any organisation that has data of customers which may be exchanged with other entities to provide innovative financial services within Nigeria, to be eligible to participate in the Open Banking ecosystem.
In the banking business, open banking is a driving force of innovation. Open banking, which relies on networks rather than centralized, can assist financial services consumers in safely sharing their financial data with other financial organizations.
The API may also analyze consumer transaction data to recommend the best financial goods and services for them, such as new savings account with a greater interest rate than their existing savings account or a different credit card with a lower interest rate.
Open banking can transform the banking industry’s competitive landscape and user experience by allowing more personalized financial products and services to be offered.
Open banking could enable lenders gain a more accurate picture of a consumer’s financial status and risk level by using networked accounts, allowing them to provide more profitable lending terms. It may also assist consumers in obtaining a more accurate picture of their own finances before to incurring debt.
Open banking may provide consumers with easier access to financial data and services while also reducing expenses for financial firms.
However, it may offer significant threats to financial privacy and the security of individuals’ finances, as well as responsibilities to financial institutions.