How Regulations Can Define the Future of Fintech in Nigeria

12 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2019 Last revised: 25 Sep 2019

Date Written: February 26, 2019

Abstract

Financial technology, commonly referred to as “Fintech”, is the application of technology and innovation to improve financial services. With the growing demand for smartphones, finance innovations (such as mobile banking and capital market trading) continues to challenge traditional financial institutions and disrupt traditional means of financial service provision. The financial industry is now heavily reliant on technological innovation than at any other time. According to Ernest and Young’s Fintech Adoption Index, one-third of consumers uses at least two Fintech services, with 84% affirming their awareness of Fintech (compared to 62% in 2015). Nigeria has witnessed an increase in Fintech innovation and utilization. A report by Disrupt Africa indicates that in 2018, Nigeria was the premier investment destination in Africa; with 58 startups raising a total of US$94,912,000 (Ninety Four Million, Nine Hundred and Twelve Million Dollars) and that 45 Fintech start-ups on the continent received one-third of the total African venture capital funding in 2018. Given the rapid expansion of the Fintech industry in Nigeria, it is very important that the Fintech laws in the country are adequate to regulate the sector and establish a progressive legal regime for the operators within the Fintech industry.

Owing to its vast and diverse human resources, Nigeria has the potential of establishing itself as one of the largest Fintech markets in the world. Unfortunately, Nigeria does not have a comprehensive legal framework for regulation of Fintech, and the available Fintech regulations are not adequate to engender innovation and the expansion of the Fintech industry.

The aim of this research is to undertake a systematic exposition of the rules governing the Nigerian Fintech industry. Based on the insight gained from the Fintech regulations and the practice in other jurisdictions of the world, this research will explain areas of difficulty in the applicable Fintech laws in Nigeria and suggest a direction for future legislative intervention in Nigeria.

Keywords: Fintech, Technology, Law, Central Bank of Nigeria, Licence, Cashless Policy

Suggested Citation

Anichebe, Uche, How Regulations Can Define the Future of Fintech in Nigeria (February 26, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3354278

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