EY teams up with Open Banking Nigeria to develop API standards

15 August 2019 Consultancy.africa 2 min. read

Big Four accounting and advisory firm EY has now joined Open Banking Nigeria in its efforts to Standardise Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) across the Nigerian market. Through the partnership, both firms hope to improve the management of financial data under the new financial technology (FinTech) paradigm.

As part of the Open Technology Foundation, Open Banking Nigeria is a Lagos-based financial services organisation that is working to ensure digital freedom and maturity across the Nigerian market. In Nigeria, this has meant a focus on a more standardized set of APIs for the market.

To this end, the firm partnered with UK-based banking consultancy Open Vector last year. Open Vector was established in 2017 by the UK’s Competition & Market Authority with a similar objective of promoting open banking in markets across the globe. The partnership was set up to enable greater FinTech penetration by developing standard APIs.

In Nigeria, the FInTech landscape is on a rapid growth trajectory, currently occupying top priority for a number of financial institutions in the country. The Big Four accounting and advisory space has also been active in facilitating this growth, exemplified by EY’s new involvement with Open Banking.

EY teams up with Open Banking Nigeria to develop API standards

Fellow Big Four firm PwC established an Innovation Centre in Nigeria earlier this year with a specific focus on developing innovative FinTech capabilities. EY’s latest partnership will look to develop standard APIs for banks, following which the firm will help with promoting these APIs among financial institutions and regulatory bodies.

Once common APIs are developed, data can be stored in a secure but accessible manner, enabling a more transparent and shared management of financial data amongst institutions. The common interface will also increase the speed and efficiency of data sharing where required.

“This inter-operability would result in the development of modern payment services, cost saving for operators and increased innovation while also guaranteeing information security and privacy, which would not cause an uneven playing field for industry players,” explained EY in a statement.

Innovation and security are central objectives in Nigeria at the moment. The financial sector in particular is looking to leverage innovative means to growth where possible, although the rampant security risks in the contemporary digital environment are pertinent for the financial sector, given the vast pool of sensitive information.