In a move that would enhance the service offerings of players in the Nigerian financial services industry, Ernst & Young (EY), a global professional services firm, has finalised arrangements with Open Banking Nigeria to develop and advocate for a standard Application Programming Interface (API) for the country’s financial services industry.
Open Banking Nigeria is Nigeria’s foremost Open Banking advocate and facilitator.
According to a statement from the firm made available to business a.m, the recently forged partnership will transform the management of financial data and extend services to individuals and businesses across Nigeria.
Open Banking have been acknowledged by experts as the future of banking on the globe, its a system of banking that enables customers have increased control over their data while supporting the innovation in financial services that can propel the level of financial inclusion Nigeria aims to achieve by year 2020.
Dapo Adewole, partner, technology advisory, at EY said “As part of our commitment to support the building of a better working world, EY Nigeria is working with stakeholders to use open banking to reshape financial services, especially as regulators and governments seek to increase competition and choice.
“We understand that customers also expect more convenience and flexible access to services, driven by broader digital experience and emerging technology. It is our desire to bring this goal to fruition, while working with other players in the industry.”
Other benefits of adopting open banking, mentioned by the firm includes; improved customer engagement and new digital revenue channels.
“It would also transform the operation of other industries, including telecommunications, power, hospitality, retail, and insurance, seeking to leverage data for the improvement of their operational scope and service offerings to clients.”
According to Ope Adeoye, a trustee at Open Banking Nigeria, EY’s top-notch contributions, along with other stakeholders, would lead to the development of the next generation of API standard for the Nigerian financial services industry.
With this agreement, EY joins other leading industry stakeholders to analyse the need of the industry for a common API standard among banks and other financial institutions, support the development of API standards, promote adoption with stakeholders—players and regulators—and enable further innovations in Nigeria’s financial services industry.
The introduction of a unified API across financial institutions creates a foundation upon which data can be effortlessly accessed and securely shared, real-time. It would, among others, empower individual and corporate users of services within the payment ecosystem to instruct their service providers to share their bank balance and transaction information with regulated Account Information Service Providers (AISPs).
This interoperability would result in the development of modern payment services, cost savings for operators and increased innovation while also guaranteeing information security and privacy, which would not cause an uneven playing field for industry players.