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Agenda 2018: FinTech CEOs Task CBN to Review NIBSS Status and other Nine Prayers

High on the wish list of scores of FinTech CEOs that financialtechnology asked to set agenda for the regulator in 2017 is the urgent need to review the current status of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System [NIBSS].

The CEOs prayer is simple: That CBN should divorce regulatory power from NIBSS if NIBSS is to remain a competitor in the industry. “NIBSS cannot continue to be a regulator and a competitor”, the CEOs said in their responses.

The CEOs also tasked the apex bank to commence regulatory sandbox. Regulatory sandbox is a framework set up by a regulator that allows FinTech startups and other innovators to conduct live experiments in a controlled environment under a regulator’s supervision.

While enjoining the CBN to consider the regulation of the FinTech/Banks relationship without hindering growth, innovations and creativity, they said the CBN should not introduce stamp duties fees across electronic transactions.

According to the CEOs, such a move would be counterproductive. “The reserved bank should avoid introducing stamp duties”, they warned.

In addition, they asked the CBN to end the era of crazy, unplanned, and un-discussed regulatory shocks that affect pricing or negatively impacts investor confidence.

As part of its plan of restoring cashless policy in 2018, the FinTech CEOs tasked the apex bank to implement the cashless and interchange fee regulation and other changes that will drive the adoption and growth of digital transactions.

Besides, they asked the CBN to commence the review of prepaid, KYC and mobile money regulation to remove those statutes that are stifling industry growth and innovation.

Another issue on the CEOs’ wish list is the removal of the requirements to escrow Stakeholders Fund (SHF), as it affects the ability of most FinTech startups to fund operations and drive innovations.

The CEOs, therefore, appealed to the reserved bank to allow all FinTechs to leverage USSD platform in serving the last mile by giving them no objection letters.

While explaining that some central banks have already started researching their own digital coins, the CEOs want the apex bank to consider starting a blockchain project in 2018, as it has been predicted that global central banks “will start holding digital currencies” in 2018.