Central Bank of Nigeria issues final Open Banking guidelines

Ellie Duncan
09 Mar 2023

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved the operational guidelines for Open Banking in Nigeria, marking the start of an Open Banking regime in the country.

Musa Jimoh, director of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Payments Systems Management Department, issued the final guidelines in a circular.

In the operational guidelines, the central bank sets out that the Regulatory Framework for Open Banking in Nigeria “established principles for data sharing across the banking and payments system to promote innovations and broaden the range of financial products and services available to bank customers”.

The document states: “As a result, Open Banking recognises the ownership and control of data by customers of financial and non-financial services, and their right to grant authorisations to service providers for the purpose of accessing innovative financial products and services.”

Open Banking Nigeria called the release of the final guidelines the “culmination of a long journey for Open Banking in Nigeria”.

The Open Banking working group, Open Banking Nigeria, was formed in 2017 by industry veterans and, since then, has engaged with banks, fintechs, Nigeria’s central bank, and other international stakeholders.

Adedeji Olowe

Open Banking Nigeria trustee Adedeji Olowe

According to Open Banking Nigeria, Sterling Bank, KPMG, PwC, EY, Paystack, Teamapt, Wallet Africa, and OnePipe were among the early backers of Open Banking in the country.

“The CBN released the regulatory framework for Open Banking Nigeria on February 7, 2021 which laid the groundwork for an industry committee to create the draft of operational guidelines in May 2022,” Open Banking Nigeria said in a statement.

“This draft is what has now become the law for bankers and fintechs supervised by the CBN.”

Back in July 2022, Adedeji Olowe, trustee of Open Banking Nigeria, was a guest on an episode of Open Banking Expo Unplugged.

He said: “All the pillars needed to make Open Banking work are already in place. We have a data privacy rule which was released by the government in 2019, we have the Open Banking regulation which was released by the Central Bank of Nigeria in February 2021, and then May this year, a special draft of the Open Banking guidelines was released as well.

“The interesting thing is that the more we went down the line, the more the government started working more with the industry stakeholders.”