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Global professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY) has partnered with Open Banking Nigeria to develop a standard Application Programming Interface (API) for the country’s financial services industry.
Lagos-based Open Banking Nigeria has since 2017 been working with a number of roleplayers to develop API standards for the Nigerian financial services sector.
The organisation is backed by the Open Technology Foundation, an NGO backed by a group of industry experts across the banking, fintech and risk management industries.
In a statement on Monday (22 July), EY said the aim of the partnership is to transform the management of financial data in Nigeria and to extend services to individuals and businesses across the country.
Open Banking Nigeria works with industry players to build the next generation of API standards
The partnership follows an agreement EY recently signed with Open Banking Nigeria. The deal will enable the firm to join other leading stakeholders to:
- Analyse the need for a common API standard among banks and other financial institutions
- Support the development of API standards
- Promote adoption with players and regulators
- Enable further innovations in Nigeria’s financial services sector
EY explained that the introduction of a unified API across financial institutions will create a foundation upon which data can be effortlessly accessed and securely shared, real-time.
“This inter-operability would result in the development of modern payment services, cost saving for operators and increased innovation while also guaranteeing information security and privacy, which would not cause an uneven playing field for industry players,” added EY.
EY Technology Advisory partner Dapo Adewole said 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.
Open Banking Nigeria trustee Ope Adeoye said EY’s contributions, along with other stakeholders, will lead to the development of the next generation of API standards for the country’s financial services industry.
Last year, in a bid to drive innovation and choice for all parties within the financial industry, the Open Technology Foundation launched Open Banking Nigeria open source APIs.
The APIs — which cover every aspect of the banking system including ATM, bill payment, point of sale (POS), direct debit among others — can be accessed here.
Open Banking Nigeria spokesperson Adedeji Olowe, commenting in a statement at the time, said the objective of the APIs are to encourage banks and fintechs to adopt open standards for their API implementations while easing the cost of challenges of innovation and improving customer experience.
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