By Obinna Chima
The Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have thrown their weight behind the launch of the Association of Financial Service Innovators in the country.
The association is basically to encourage financial technology (fintechs) that are still at the infancy stage and is expected to drive financial inclusion through the digital platforms.
The association is aÂ cross-industryÂ non-profitÂ initiative, intended to be a platform designed to facilitate collaboration between all market participants and stakeholders in theÂ fintech ecosystem. ItÂ is designed to be an effective platform for members to engage with multiple stakeholders to find solutions to issues.
Members of the association have been working towardsÂ setting up of a sandbox to beÂ held in trust for theÂ fintechs to hostÂ theirÂ financial assets.
Speaking at the launch of the association in Lagos at the weekend, the chief executive, NIBSS, Mr. Ade Shonubi, commended the CBN and the individuals that conceived the idea.
According to the NIBSS boss, the initiative would help bring about job creation and innovation in the countryâ€™s payment system.
â€œWhen this idea was muted, the CBN did not have to be part of it. The CBN would have asked them to go do whatever they wanted to do.
â€œBut the CBN took an active part because they also see what is going on and that the future, not just for Nigeria, is what we can take out from what is called fintech,â€ Shonubi explained.
On his part, the Deputy Director, Payment System Department, CBN, Mr. Musa Jimoh, expressed the excitement of the management over the launch of the association.
Jimoh explained that the association was created so that start-ups can come together, educate themselves and have a common understanding of what the entire ecosystem needs.
â€œThe CBN is also very excited with the kind of developments that have happened with the payment system.
â€œAnd there are series of innovations that we are being challenged with on daily basis. This is to show that we welcome innovations and new ideas. You donâ€™t need to be a licenced entity to approach the CBN on this.
â€œWe hope that at the end of the day this association will be able to help CBN to look beyond what we currently have to take the payment system to a greater height,â€ he added.
The Co-chair of the association and chief executive, Flutterwave, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, pointed out that the platform was created for direct engagement with the CBN and other regulators.