The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has listed the responsibilities of Fintech firms in the management of Open Banking system in Nigeria.
To foster the sharing and leveraging of customer-permissioned data by the banks with third-party firms, the CBN recently issued the Regulatory Framework for Open Banking.
The framework will empower third-party firms to build solutions and services that provide efficiency, greater financial transparency and options for account holders.
As consumers of APIs, the framework recognises that there could be occasions for Fintechs to provide APIs.
In that instance, the Fintechs shall therefore assume the responsibilities of either consumer or provider depending on the role they play.
The CBN added that Fintechs shall ensure to leverage APIs in order to innovate products and solutions that are interoperable and avoid alteration of APIs published by the providers without consent.
Also, the CBN explained that any modification of published APIs shall be based on the provisions of Data Access Agreement or where necessary an addendum to the agreement.
The agreement shall specify rights of the parties to the modified API and commercial terms, comply with data privacy laws and regulations and adhere to the provisions of the framework and maintain customer service/complaint desk on 24/7 basis for financial institutions to resolve complaints.
According to the apex bank, the objectives of the charter include to provide an enabling regulatory environment that will promote innovative and customer-centric financial services through the safe utilisation and exchange data and services.
The charter also defines risk based data access levels and service categorisations towards an effective risk management in the operation of open API and outline baseline requirements and standards for the exchange of data and services among participants in the sector.
Other objectives include the provision of risk management guidance for operators to leverage data and APIs in the offering of financial services.
The CBN noted that the framework will promote competition in the banking sector and enhance access to financial services.
The framework which is specifically for banking and other related financial services, include payments and remittance, collection and disbursement, deposit-taking, credit, personal finance advisory and management.
Others are treasury management, credit ratings/scoring, mortgage and leasing/hire purchase.
The framework also offers insight into data and service access governance, principles for API specifications, roles and responsibilities of participants, risk management, customer rights and redress mechanism.