Mr Ibrahim Toyeeb, Chief Executive Officer of global payments and collection company, Leatherback, has urged regulatory authorities to ensure effective synergy between innovation and regulation to deliver a thriving Financial Technology (fintech) sector.
Toyeeb gave this advice on Friday, in Abuja and said that fintechs had over the years, promoted their ability to offer more agile services at lower prices in the midst of numerous regulatory requirements expected of traditional banks.
“Technology, innovation, regulation and experience should go side-by-side.
“It should not be a matter of one or the other. The ability of fintechs to sidestep regulation has created distrust amongst consumers, who are increasingly voicing their need to be assured that their money is safe.
“That is why, when we started Leatherback, we decided to view regulation as our friend, rather than our enemy.
“From the beginning, our model was always to get licenses in the countries we operate in,” he said.
The CEO explained that Leatherback’s licensing approach was rooted on the understanding that getting directly licensed helps build trust with clients.
He said that, operating within regulatory confines did not mean that the company would compromise on innovation.
“We are committed to providing our clients with a unique financial technology experience that helps them explore different opportunities, while at the same time not erring on the side of regulation.
“We understand that regulation, in one way or another, has to catch up with innovation, but we are happy to help play a meaningful role in bridging the gap with various regulators in the sector.
“Notably, we are licensed with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, which is the highest regulatory body in the world.
“This means that we are held to extremely high standards. We benchmark all our processes against the FCA and our systems are structured to adhere to all FCA requirements,” he said.
Toyeeb added that Leatherback was also Electronic Money Institution (EMI)-licensed in the UK, which allows it to offer electronic money services in the country.
He said that the fintech company also obtained a license in Canada as a money service business.
“Every regulator expects us to meet specific technological requirements and partnership standards.
“We are going through all of these regulatory processes and applications to make sure when consumers hear the name Leatherback, they feel comfortable hearing it.
“They know they are working with a properly structured and fully regulated organisation that will keep their money safe and give them the best possible service,” he said.