For Singapore to be a global financial centre, the Government has been pretty supportive of new fintech innovation.
This was evident when the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) set up a FinTech Regulatory Sandbox back in 2016.
With the sandbox in place, it opened the field for fintech firms to test and grow their ideas in a conducive environment “without having to apply for a [full] license or a permit”.
Today (7 August 2019), the MAS unveiled the launch of a Sandbox Express option to make this resource even more accessible.
Sandbox Express shortens the approval process, and eligible applicants can begin market testing in a pre-defined environment “within 21 days of applying to MAS”.
This would usually take longer under the existing FinTech Regulatory Sandbox, since it allows more customisation to support more complex business ideas.
To keep approval quick and simple, Sandbox Express has to rely on standard disclosures and work in pre-defined parameters.
So, MAS advises that it will be more suitable for “activities where the risks are low and well-understood by the market”, while businesses with more complex models should still apply for the existing sandbox instead.
For now, MAS will first open Sandbox Express specifically to insurance brokers, recognised market operators and remittance businesses.
While application and approval goes onto the fast track, the experimentation duration allowed in SandBox Express is actually lengthened instead.
The existing regulatory sandbox allows participants to run experiments for 6 months, but the Sandbox Express option extends this to 9 months so that firms have “more time to overcome business and technical challenges”.
“Firms could also use the longer duration to better prepare for exiting the sandbox and deploying their innovation on a larger scale,” said MAS.
MAS Chief FinTech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty said it’s important that ideas can be tested quickly in a safe environment.
“This introduction of Sandbox Express builds on the experience we have gained from running the FinTech Regulatory Sandbox and reflects our commitment to encouraging more experimentation and greater adoption of innovative technologies in the financial sector,” he added.
MAS said it will closely monitor this initiative to make sure it meets the financial industry’s evolving needs.
It will also explore opportunities to expand the range of financial products and services that can be offered through Sandbox Express.
Interested parties can find out more about MAS’ Sandbox Express here.
Featured Image Credit: Nikkei Asian Review