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Finance experts seek improved data sharing for retail growth

Finance experts have called for enabling framework and flexibility in the use of customer information, as a way to ease the banking industry’s suspicion of customers and aid retail business’ growth.

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

Joshua, who gave the advise during a panel session at the 10th anniversary celebration of Verve in Lagos, explained that this would assist banks in the country drive new levels of customer engagements across digital channels and systems.

He also 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 databases will 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” he said.

Stating that Fidelity Bank is not averse to data sharing, he said that the lender had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Open Technology Foundation (OTF) for the adoption of a standard Application Programming Interface (API) for its operations.

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.

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

The Chief Executive Officer of Verve International, Mike Ogbalu III, however, expressed gratitude to the bank and all its partners, assuring them that endless possibilities awaits the digital space in banking.

The event, which offered a unique opportunity for all participants to network with the industry’s brightest, had in attendance, a number of business leaders and industry experts, who gave valuable insights into the latest technological trends and shared experiences.

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