By Aisha Ahmed Musa
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday issued operational guidelines for open banking in the country.
The guidelines establish principles for data sharing across banking and payment systems.
In a circular referenced PSM/DIR/PUB/CIR/001/043 and dated March 7, 2023, the apex bank said the guidelines would create greater access to customer-focused data sharing between banks and third-party firms.
Open banking is the practice of enabling secure interoperability in the banking industry by allowing third-party payment services and other financial service providers to access banking transactions and other data from banks and financial institutions.
According to the guidelines, the apex bank shall provide and maintain an open banking registry to give regulatory oversight on participants, regulate operators and enhance transparency within the open banking ecosystem.
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It also stipulates that the consent of bank customers is required before their data can be acquired for open banking products and services, among others.
Mr Musa Jimoh, CBN’s Director, Payment System Management Department, stated that the guidelines were in furtherance of the bank’s mandate to stabilise the financial system.
He said, “The adoption of open banking in Nigeria will foster the sharing of customer-permissioned data between banks and third-party firms to enable the building of customer-focused products and services.
“It’s also aimed at enhancing efficiency, competition, and access to financial services.’’