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CBN reveals two regulatory policies to shape payment system in 2020

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Monday opened up on two key regulatory initiatives that will shape the Nigerian digital payment space from next year.

Speaking on a Channels TV Business Morning Programme, the Director, Payment Systems at the apex bank, Mr Kofo Salam-Alada said 2020 payment system supervisory strategy by the CBN will be driven by two key policy innovations including regulatory sound box and open banking.

He said containing the speed of technological innovation in payment system remains one of the major challnges of the CBN, noting that “It is actually one of our major concerns because we have a lot of players within the
ecosystem now, particularly the Fintechs.”

“And so what we are trying to do is to build regulation that makes the market conduct very responsive. So we are coming out with a lot of innovation, a lot of regulation that will basically drive the financial system and compliance.

“One of which is the regulatory sound box that will guide the entry of all the payment service providers into the arena. We want to have a view; we want all the participants to be within the radar of the Central Bank. This is the only way we can control them and ensure that they comply with the regulation and standards. So regulatory soundbox is one of the thing that we are bringing in.

“And another thing is about open banking. It is being talked about, everybody wants to have a choice, and giving consumers the choice to have access to different varieties of services is also a major incentive to drive digital payment system in Nigeria. So we will also be looking at open banking to drive financial services in the country.

Explaining more, Salam-Alada averred that “This will be the two major initiatives that will be like a task for us to execute within the first few months of 2020 financial year.”

“There are other initiatives that are coming and as you know, technology changes every day so can actually be planning on an initiative now and before you kick start, another one comes in. But for this two, we are quite sure we will drive it because it is basically regulatory driven,” he added.

In his analysis of the emerging new vista of banking consumer protection as powered by the CBN, leading financial analyst and managing consultant at RTC Advisory Services, Mr Vincent Nwani, said “My take is to first of all congratulate the bank consumers because I have been in advocacy part of this whole conversation on multiple charges.

“Customers being at the receiving end of so many small but impacting charges that takes not only the poor but the poorest of the banking services.

“Even the so called average class, the big guys, you will see people stopping to pay in the fuel stations with their POS and I have spoken to some people since yesterday the news broke and everybody is happy but they need more because the question is how did we get here, you are the one that introduced the charges in the first place so how much am I going to celebrate if you reduce it, people want it remove because they did not ask for it.”

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