The Association of Financial Services Innovators (FSI)- a community of Fintech entrepreneurs, regulators, companies, incubators and developers driving innovation in the financial services industry has been launched in Lagos.
The community, which is supported by the Nigeria Inter-Banks Settlement Systems Plc (NIBSS Plc), the National Central Switch of the Central Bank of Nigeria and a consortium of all Nigerian banks, is a culmination of a year-long deliberations.
The development is following the innovators’ breakfast forum, organised by the NIBSS and the Central Bank of Nigeria in Virgin Rose Hotel in Lagos for Fintechs and Innovation Hubs across the country on charting a new course for the Nigerian financial services space.
The FSI will work to support and grow a collaborative and innovative ecosystem of players in the financial services space and aims to lower barriers to entry and promote a level playing field for innovators in the financial services industry, while guaranteeing a safe and secure payment system for the general public.
Already, the association has been working closely with NIBSS and the Central Bank on a number of issues to help move the entire industry forward, one of which is the regulatory sandbox hosted by NIBSS.
With this, innovators will be able to leverage NIBSS APIs to build financial services products, which can be reviewed and licensed by the apex bank, while the group has also suggested to CBN a more streamlined licensing tiers that will make it easier for startups to be licensed players.
“Nigeria has a unique opportunity to transform our challenges in the areas of financial inclusion and access into opportunities that make us a global leader in financial services innovation for emerging markets.
“However, we have to first create the right environment of collaboration and openness and this is what the FSI will be striving to achieve,” Co-founder of Flutterwave and Co-Chair of the association, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, said.
The Chief Executive Officer of NIBSS, Ade Shonubi, said “like people, countries must evolve. We must create an environment which enables our people, young and old, as well as the country take control of our tech future.”