Nigeria: Fidelity Bank Advocates Data Sharing for Retail Growth

14 October 2019

The Executive Director, Operations and Information, Fidelity Bank Plc, Gbolahan Joshua has advised data validation agencies and organisations to adopt appropriate policies that provide financial institutions with the required flexibility to utilise available customer data.

Joshua, who gave the counsel during a panel session at the 10th anniversary celebration of Verve in Lagos recently, explained that this would assist banks in the country to drive new levels of customer engagements across digital channels and systems. He harped on the need for data generating institutions in Nigeria to explore fresh ways to collaborate with one another.

Alluding to the importance of data validation as a major driver in enhancing the Know Your Customer (KYC) policy, Joshua noted that harmonisation of disparate database would accelerate lending processes by banks.

"Digital identity is very critical in digital banking operations. Industry collaboration must be embraced by both financial institutions and database generating institutions to simplify digital banking operations," a statement quoted him to have said.

Whilst stating that the bank was not averse to data sharing, Joshua said Fidelity Bank had signed a memorandum of understanding with Open Technology Foundation (OTF), for the adoption of a standard Application Programming Interface (API) for its operations as a financial institution.

Open Banking is a system that provides a user with a network of financial institutions' data through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs). The Open Banking Nigeria Standard defines how financial data and services should be created, shared and accessed.

By relying on networks instead of centralisation, open banking helps customers to securely share their financial data with other financial institutions.

The panel discussion was moderated by Chief Executive Officer, Verve International, Mike Ogbalu III. The Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Payment Processing, Interswitch, Akeem Lawal, Head, Consumer Distribution, Ecobank Nigeria, Stanley Jacob and Executive Director, Retail Bank, FCMB, Olu Akanmu also featured as panelist at the event.

Ogbalu expressed gratitude to Fidelity Bank and all partners of verve that were present at the event whilst assuring them that endless possibilities awaits the digital space in banking.

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