Central Bank of Nigeria Releases Open Banking Guidelines

The newly released operational guidelines from the Central Bank of Nigeria clarify responsibilities and expectations for the open banking ecosystem participants in the country

Central Bank of Nigeria Releases Open Banking Guidelines

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced Operational Guidelines for Open Banking in Nigeria developed in partnership with industry stakeholders.

The guidelines set strict requirements for the various participant categories (e.g. banks or third-party providers). The detailed standards description applies to the following aspects:

  • access rules;
  • key performance indicators;
  • business continuity;
  • problem and risk management;
  • API interface requirements;
  • reporting;
  • anti-competition practices;
  • data ethics and privacy;
  • AML and CFT policies;
  • information sharing;
  • change and communication management, etc.

Clarified expectations and requirements are supposed to enhance efficiency, competition and access to financial services in Nigeria. Additionally, consistency and security across the open banking system will expectedly stimulate the development of more customer-focused products and services.

To control the ecosystem participants, CBN will provide and maintain an Open Banking Registry (OBR) – a public repository for details of registered institutions. The accreditation requirements are also laid out in the released document.

Finally, the regulator states that all open banking participants must strictly adhere to existing security standards when accessing and storing data. In line with the provisions of the Regulatory Framework, the banks and third-party API providers are subject to minimum privacy, operational, customer experience and risk management standards as prescribed by the Central Bank.

Earlier this year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched Nigerian National Domestic Card Scheme, AfriGo, barring the USD charges on domestic transactions. The scheme is supposed to rival and eventually replace internationally-accepted foreign cards like Mastercard and Visa and reduce transaction fees.

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.