Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited

FirstBank pledges support to startups, innovators in FinTech space

*First Bank of Nigeria Limited recently organised FinTech Summit 5.0 to create a global platform for brainstorming on the future of innovation in the financial services sector and specifically, in the financial technology space, says Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Managing Director/CEO

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As part of the banking institution’s contribution to the advancement of the Nigeria digital economy, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has restated its commitment to supporting startups and innovators in the financial technology (FinTech) ecosystem by providing relevant data and infrastructure that will enable them to succeed in the country.

ConsumerConnect reports Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of First Bank of Nigeria, said this at the bank’s recent FinTech Summit 5.0, in Lagos.

The theme of the bank’s summit, which is the fifth in its series, was:  “Open Banking and Its Derivatives Opportunities in the Financial Ecosystem”.

Dr. Adeduntan disclosed the summit was organised to create a global platform for brainstorming on the future of innovation in the financial services sector and specifically in the financial technology space.

He noted that part of the objectives of the summit was to contribute to the rapid evolution in the banking and financial services delivery in Nigeria and in other economies where it operates.

The FirstBank CEO stated: “The summit gives us a very good platform to hear from leading experts in the space because open data, cloud technology, artificial intelligence, and the way they operate together to create the right environment for innovation or evolution, is becoming important.

“For us, Open Banking demonstrates the practical fusion of these variables, presenting potential that can redefine product development, customer experience and overall value creation within the financial services system with significant multiplier effect, not just for players but also for consumers of financial services products.”

Adeduntan also said: “We believe there is enough space for continuous innovation and for us as an economy to rapidly embrace this in the bid to materially upgrade the quality of financial services in Nigeria.

“As an institution that is over 127 years old, our bank has series of industrial transformation and will continue to play a leading role in forging the conversations on refining regulatory frameworks and shaping the industry not just for Open Banking but for all contemporary issues to back our industry.”

He added: “We will also continue to demonstrate our support for startups and innovators in the FinTech space by providing them with relevant data, support and infrastructure to enable them scale appropriately, through our SMEConnect platform.”

In his the keynote address on the occasion, Prof. Ndubuisi Ekekwe, Lead Faculty of Tekedia Institute, who spoke on the topic, “Open Banking: The Grand Unification of Application Utility Age”, said Open Banking is the mechanics where banks are required to share their market data through API’s, which are third party companies, to help  to drive innovation.

Prof. Ekekwe stated through APIs, different companies would have access to customers.

The scholar called for development of the credit system to grow the Nigerian economy, noting that Open Banking could create the credit architecture to help individuals to rise in the economic ecosystem.

He noted: “Open Banking offers us a very important toll, it makes it possible for you to share customer data as a bank with trusted third-parties through APIs without any form of violation of privacy or risks.

“It gives retail customers the opportunity that their data can be aggregated, and with analytic system, you can have an insight of what is happening within your banking experience.

“There will not be a catalytic evolution in Nigeria’s economic architecture without a credit system, which is urgently needed for us to have the opportunity of expanding our economy.”

The Keynote Speaker further said: “I believe that open banking through data aggregation and analytic system can also bring a national credit architecture that will make it possible for everyone of us to rise and imagine every person with a BVN will have a credit score.”

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