Open Banking in East Africa – CIO East Africa features Myriad Connect
Myriad Connect recently invited financial service leaders in Kenya to explore the opportunity for Open Banking in East Africa, as featured by CIO East Africa in a recent article.
Open Banking will drive transformation in digital financial services by empowering consumers to own and share their data and for financial service providers to leverage this data to deliver enhanced capabilities to the marketplace.
Innovation leaders in Kenya are ahead of the curve for Open Banking with pioneering initiatives from Finserve and Equity Bank, the M-Pesa API and with the services from the likes of GT Bank soon to be launched in the market.
Myriad Connect recently hosted a breakfast, along with financial service leaders in Kenya, to explore the opportunity for Open Banking in East Africa. We were joined by Richard Johnson, a specialist in the convergence of digital technology and financial services, to speak about Open Banking, with specific focus on learnings from Europe’s Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2).
Rafe Mazer, a consumer protection and competition in financial services consultant for FSD Kenya, also joined us to share analysis of the key market constraints and reforms needed to achieve information-sharing models like Open Finance in Kenya.
According to Rafe: “The fast growing unregulated Fintech sector should uphold information-sharing as well as banks, but needs coverage by a current mandate like Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) or a new entity like the Financial Market Conduct Authority proposed in 2018, because information-sharing as is happening in Kenya today is not consumer led and we need a mandate and standards to be set.”
“Our conversations with financial service providers shows strong interest in information-sharing models by many of them. The industry should approach regulators to share this interest, and work with them to develop the necessary rules and information-sharing solutions to help increase competition, innovation and consumer choice.”
There is significant potential for Open Banking to enable enhanced digital financial services in Kenya and help drive digital inclusion. What is also evident, is that to support this information-sharing model, security and authentication will have to be at the heart of Open Banking. So, while consumers become more financially empowered under the initiative, the consumer and their data is also protected.