Singapore regulator issues FinTech sandbox guidelines

The MAS has outlined its guidelines for FinTech firms wishing to enter its regulatory sandbox.
By Paul Walsh
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has published its regulatory sandbox guidelines for technology experiments in a bid to encourage and enable FinTech development in the region.

Incorporating feedback from a public consultation as well as points from working sandbox applications, the guidelines are designed to aid the ‘clarity, flexibility and transparency’ of the regulatory sandbox.

The guidelines lay out examples and elaborations of MAS’s expectations of the sandbox to improve clarity on entry requirements.

The MAS is also bidding to increase flexibility in its sandbox by relaxing a number of the required evaluation criteria necessary for firms, as well as allowing room for adjustments during experimentation stages.

In addition, relevant information of approved sandbox applications will be published in a bid to increase transparency.

“Emerging financial products or services that utilise FinTech are becoming more sophisticated,” said Jacqueline Loh, deputy managing director for MAS.

“The guidelines reflect MAS’s commitment to building a smart financial centre where innovation is pervasive and technology is used widely. The regulatory sandbox provides a conducive environment where regulatory requirements will be relaxed to enable firms to experiment with promising innovations within boundaries.”

The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is currently the second largest FinTech space globally.

FinTech investment more than quadrupled to $4.3 billion in 2015 from just $880 million, according to an Accenture report.

Panellists at September’s Sibos event suggested that in spite of such growth, parts of the region are seemingly lacking a FinTech ‘ecosystem’ involving regulators and market participants.