By Oluwatobi Opusunju
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has harped on the necessity to regulate FinTech as a way of sustaining growth in the country’s payment system and ensuring compliance with policies as regarding the financial sector.
Nigeria’s bankers’ bank also assured that it was building capacity to ensure better regulation of the dynamic increasingly sophisticated e-payment sub-sector. As at February this year, volume of e-payment transactions hit N51.8trn according to the CBN. While the sub-sector has witnessed a variance of rising and falling, the indices point to stable rise over time driven by the CBN’s policy to widen e-payment across country and a deepening culture of e-payment.
The Deputy Governor Operations, Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Adebayo Adelabu while speaking at the recent Digital Pay Expo in Lagos, said before now it was only banks that were regulated but the importance of FinTech to the financial sector has necessitated the need to regulate the operators.
“We as regulators will be at alert. We need more regulations. In the past it was the regulation of banks that was most important but with the way we are moving, I think FinTech regulation has to be given more attention, because it’s not just about putting the policies in place alone, but ensuring compliance and regulating the FinTech,” he said.
Dr. Adelabu informed participants at the event that a special department will be created to regulate the FinTech’s operators as it is with the banking sector.
“[We have recognised that] a special department needs to be created to regulate the payment systems because what those applications or solutions can do to the payment system can’t be over emphasized. So we need to be a step ahead of the operators like we have for the banking population,” he said.
He said the Central Bank of Nigeria will focus on training its staff on IT skills and building the required capacity as most of the CBN’s staff are not IT graduates. The CBN will change the focus of recruitment to fit into the emerging e-payment system.
“And to do this is a lot of challenge for us as regulators in terms of ramping up capacity. I’m very sure that very little percentage of the CBN population are IT graduates,which means that we need to train and retrain our people and also change the focus of recruitment into the payment system. Now, it’s not about looking at accounting but IT capacity is increasingly becoming the decisive factor when recruiting people,” said Adelabu .