Amid the increasingly tight regulations in the fintech industry and the fintech boom in Nigeria, SystemSpecs, Africa’s leading technological giant, has called for a balance between innovation and regulation to enable a healthy financial technology ecosystem that will be beneficial to all stakeholders.
During a panel session at the Businessday Future of Paytech Workshop themed, Stick and Carrot: Walking the Tight Rope between Regulation and Innovation, Ezinne Obikile (Executive Director, Infrastructure and Payment Gateway for SystemSpecs ), said that appropriate regulations should provide opportunities for growth and innovation for regulators and the regulated alike and these regulations should create a strong and viable financial system.
Obikile further said growth in the fintech sector is due to the growing demands for digital products as a result of restrictions around cash.
She acknowledged the obscurity and unpredictability that is linked with the new regulations and opined that it will become clear as the players interact more with regulators.
The financial expert pointed out some of the regulations that players in the payment ecosystem find most challenging when she said;
“The Know Your Customer (KYC) policy and updated guides to charges are some of the most challenging regulations in the fintech sector currently.”
While the overall intention is to drive financial inclusion and combat money laundering and fraud, obtaining and verifying KYC information has become challenging especially for those targeting the underbanked.”
Borrowing words from the theme, Obikile acknowledged that data is the oil that lubricates the wheel of innovation in the fintech industry and therefore posited that if regulation and innovation are to simultaneously succeed in the financial technology industry, the “carrot” of data availability should compliment the “big stick” of KYC compliance.
She also urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to enforce compliance with the open banking regulation.
This will make the KYC easy and aid the development of data-driven, customer-centric products.
She noted that the demands by data custodians for customer data acquisition and verification is due to fallen costs that are onerous to bequeath to consumers, while also pointing out that data does not always come in formats that are usable even if they are readily available (of which there aren’t sometimes).
Obikile encouraged regulators to collaborate and interact more with fintech players as it is this interaction that will enable these players better understand the dynamics in the industry, and regulators can successfully formulate policies based on the feedbacks from the engagements.
SystemSpecs is a software development company that was founded in 1991 by John Obaro.
SystemSpecs is home to Remita, a leading e-Payment application; HumanManager, a human capital management solution; Paylink, an instant payment solution with an ecommerce store; and SunSystems, an internationally renowned financial and business software solution.
The pioneer company has been providing technology solutions in Nigeria long before the internet was everywhere.
Since then, SystemSpecs has unceasingly created innovative solutions and services that set it apart from other companies.
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