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Fidelity Bank reinforces commitment to digital technology, adopts open banking

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Consistent with its commitment to the adoption of innovative digital technology to drive its retail strategy, reduce cost and improve revenue and returns, Fidelity Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Open Technology Foundation (OTF) for the adoption of a standard Application Programming Interface (API) for its operations as a financial institution.

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

The bank recently took a bold step to further provide its consumers with improved services and solutions that meet their needs by leveraging the collaborative model of Open Banking. Through this partnership, Fidelity Bank would deepen its financial services delivery through appropriate and time sensitive channels whilst collaborating with other stakeholders within the ecosystem.

Open Banking has been seen as the most transformational financial technology over the next decade which has seen about 47 countries at various stage of implementation. Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria signaled its intention to lead Africa in digital payments innovation with the request for information about the National Payments System Vision 2030 for which Open Banking is a strategic priority.

Additionally, Fidelity Bank has by this development, joined other leading banking and financial services industry players, who have not only adopted but are also promoting this mode of operation, which among other benefits would drastically consolidate customer satisfaction, grow revenue across diverse streams, promote financial inclusion, as well as assure a smooth but controlled data flow.

“As a digitally innovative and forward-thinking bank, we believe in the importance of investing in digital technologies and its significant contributions to shaping the future of banking globally” said Fidelity Bank CEO, Nnamdi Okonkwo.

“Therefore, this partnership with the Open Technology Foundation for the adoption of a standard, industry-wide API is a step in the right direction and is in alignment with our commitment to digital innovation, for the satisfaction of our customers” he explained further.

The Open Technology Foundation was established to analyse the need of the industry for a common API standard among banks and other financial institutions, develop the common API standards, provide a sandbox and other testing tools for certification, promote the adoption of an Open Banking standard with stakeholders across Nigeria, and to enable further innovation in the financial services industry.

“At Open Technology Foundation, it is our utmost delight to collaborate with players across the banking and services ecosystems for the introduction, adoption and promotion of Open Technology practices. We are convinced that this is one great move that would transform the financial space in Nigeria, with ripple effects across other industries in the country and by extension Africa,” said Ope Adeoye, a trustee of Open Technology Foundation.

Focused on select niche corporate banking sectors as well as Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Fidelity Bank is rapidly implementing a digital based retail banking strategy which has resulted in exponential growth with savings deposits tripling over the last five years and over 40 percent of customers enrolled on the Bank’s flagship mobile/internet banking products.

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