As part of its financial inclusion drive, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) is creating a regulatory sandbox that allow the start-ups Financial Technology (FinTechs) companies test their solutions in a controlled environment.
The regulator is working in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for technical assistance in achieving this.
It is expected that by July this year the CBN will come up with the draft regulatory framework of the sandbox for the public to see. Regulatory sandboxes are gaining popularity, mostly in developed financial markets.
“With the regulatory soundbox that we are bringing up, they will be able to taste their solutions with the banks and other financial services providers to see that those things are working and they can go commercial”, Musa Jimoh, deputy director,banking and payment supervision department, CBN, said at the weekend at the official launch of Financial Service Innovators (FSI) in Lagos.
Responding to journalist on what the FSI is all about, Jimoh said, “the objective is to empower small companies which we refer to as start-ups innovators, technologies, young people that have very fantastic ideas but they don’t have the financial capacity to bring out their products or even integrate with some banks or have the money to take a licence from CBN and we don’t want those ideas to just die off. So what CBN basically did was to bring all these start-ups together and try to understand their pains, their constraints and see how it can give them helping hands to grow. Our believe is that these youth will eventually be the leaders of tomorrow and if we give them helping hands we are basically building the entire economy”.
Ade Shonubi, managing director/CEO, NIBSS said NIBSS offers to support the association for the first one year in addition to the creation of the sandbox.
He said the Bank verification Number (BVN) will be required to guard against manipulation of the platform.
“we are also conscious of the fact that if we do not manage the people who could do that we may find people in Ukraine or Russia taking our knowledge building solution and coming to sell it to us. So we wanted to limit it to any Nigerian”, Shonubi said.
Iyin Aboyeji, chairman, FSI/ CEO Flutterwave said the Financial services Innovator association, will act as a medium through which the CBN can “Build, support and grow a collaborative and innovative ecosystem of players in the Financial Services space.
“It is the priority for the CBN to “make Nigeria a Global leader in innovation technology driven Financial Services, ensuring access to Financial Services and economic development in the new digital economy”, Aboyeji said as one of the visions of the FSI.