MAS proposes fintech sandbox scheme with fast-track approvals

Reuters

SINGAPORE – The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has released a consultation paper on creating a new regulatory sandbox with fast-track approvals for firms experimenting with innovative financial products or services.

The “Sandbox Express” – comprising pre-defined sandboxes – will enable these firms to embark on experiments more quickly, without needing to go through the existing bespoke sandbox application and approval process.

It will complement the existing FinTech Regulatory Sandbox launched in 2016, MAS said in a media statement on Wednesday (Nov 14).

MAS said the Sandbox Express is suitable for activities where the risks are generally low, or well understood and can be reasonably contained within the specific pre-defined sandbox.

The first sandboxes will be for insurance broking, recognised market operators and remittance businesses, with boundaries, expectations and regulatory reliefs predetermined.

MAS will assess applications for the Sandbox Express on only two criteria: technological innovativeness of the financial service, and fitness and propriety of the applicant’s key stakeholders.

Sopnendu Mohanty, MAS’s chief fintech officer, said: “We are heartened that the FinTech Regulatory Sandbox has been well received by the industry. We have engaged more than 150 fintech players since the sandbox was launched, and a number of firms have experimented in the sandbox.

“To facilitate quicker experimentation and faster introduction of innovative financial services to the market, we are now offering the option of Sandbox Express.”

Applicants would have to declare that they are able to fully comply with all expectations of the pre-defined sandbox that they apply for, which include providing clear disclosure and obtaining acknowledgements from users before the users are on-boarded as customers.

Once approved, they would be required to submit periodic progress reports to the MAS and ensure that they adhere to the pre-defined sandbox expectations.

Public consultation will run from Nov 14 to Dec 13, and a copy of the public consultation paper is available on the MAS website.