Open Vector partners with Open Banking Nigeria to develop common API standards

04 May 2018 Consultancy.africa

Open Banking Nigeria, a modern-day financial services institution, has announced a partnership with UK-based open banking consultancy Open Vector. The duo will collaborate to develop a set of common standards for open banking Application Programme Interfaces (APIs) across the country.

There are few phenomena that exemplify the influence of technology on the financial services sector better than the advent of open banking. Well-entrenched in the FinTech domain, open banking leverages APIs and open source technology to offer account holders substantially more transparency and flexibility in the management of their financial data. 

As the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria is one country where open banking has tremendous potential for growth. The country is home to the largest population on the continent, a large portion of which is both financially eligible and digitally connected, but currently lacks the awareness and outreach to benefit from FinTech.

One firm that has recognised this opportune scenario is Open Banking Nigeria, which is a regional wing of the Open Technology Foundation, and operates with the primary objective of realising the country’s potential with respect to APIs in particular. In simple terms, APIs can be understood as the underlying definitions and procedures that are involved in the development of any given software.

Open vector partners with Open Banking Nigeria to develop common API standards

According to Open Banking Nigeria, having a common set of API standards across Nigeria is absolutely critical for the advancement of open banking as a concept. To this end, the firm is conducting in-depth analysis of the current standards through testing and innovation, while simultaneously promoting the adoption of common standards through certification.

For help with these operations, Open Banking Nigeria has now formed a strategic partnership with Open Vector in the UK. Open Vector is a consulting firm that was established in 2017 under the mandate of the UK’s Competition & Market Authority, with the specific aim of supporting the spread of open banking across the world. 

Commenting on the partnership, Adedeji Olowe, a Trustee at Open Banking Nigeria said, “The payments revolution in Nigeria continues at a very exciting pace, but we believe that a common Open Banking API standard will provide a significant boost to payments and financial inclusion. We are excited to collaborate with Open Vector to be able to deliver a world-class implementation of Open Banking to the Nigerian financial industry.”

Carlos Figueredo, CEO of Open Vector added, “We are excited to be embarking on this strategic partnership with Open Banking Nigeria, which is spearheading the opportunities afforded by open banking both nationality and regionally. We firmly believe that this can generate significant socioeconomic benefits to Nigeria as well as the broader African region including the opportunity for greater financial inclusion."

Mercer and Alexander Forbes launch Arrive financial services programme in Kenya

05 April 2019 Consultancy.africa

Pan-African financial advisory firm Alexander Forbes has entered into a partnership with global health and wealth management consultancy Mercer to develop a financial solutions programme by the name of “Arrive” for individuals in Kenya as well as across the entire continent.

While foreign investment has been on the rise in Africa – given that the region boasts a substantial and young population and a number of resource-rich economies that are looking to diversify – a number of firms have struggled with developing products and solutions that are suitable across the wide variety of economies and cultures on the continent.

Several consulting firms have rushed in to support with this integration process, and the Arrive programme is designed with precisely such an objective in mind. The programme – to be developed jointly by Alexander Forbes and Mercer – is designed to help international firms with tailoring solutions across African markets.

Mercer and Alexander Forbes launch Arrive financial services programme in Kenya

The solution will take into consideration the various regulatory and economic conditions of each country, while endowing its services with knowledge from international best practices in the domain of health, wealth and career management. The collaboration comes at a time when firms across Africa are struggling with digital and regulatory disruption.

Mercer has come to be increasingly active in supporting this transition across the continent, through a number of collaborations. Just earlier this year, the firm announced a strategic partnership with Learning Organisation in Ghana to offer comprehensive HR solutions in the country.

Commenting on the partnership, Peter Botha, CEO of Mercer Africa said, “With Arrive employers can enjoy improved efficiency, easy decision-making and affordability from a single point of contact while enabling employees to arrive at financial well-being, a rewarding career and better health throughout their life journey.”

Dawie de Villiers, Group Chief Executive at Alexander Forbes added, “Because each country has its own regulatory and benefit rules, it makes it difficult for multinationals to standardise benefits when operating in multiple jurisdictions and countries.”