MAS proposes creating a new regulatory sandbox with fast-track approvals

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has released a consultation paper on the creation of pre-defined sandboxes, known as Sandbox Express. 

This will complement the existing FinTech Regulatory Sandbox that was launched in 2016.

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

This will enable firms which intend to conduct regulated activities to embark on experiments more quickly. They will not need to go through the existing bespoke sandbox application and approval process. 

As a start, it will include sandboxes specifically pre-defined for insurance broking, recognised market operators and remittance businesses.

Photo courtesy: MAS
Photo courtesy: MAS

Each pre-defined sandbox will have its boundaries, expectations and regulatory reliefs pre-determined. The applicant must declare that it is able to fully comply with all expectations of the pre-defined sandbox that it has applied for. These include providing clear disclosure and obtaining an acknowledgement from the user before the user can be on-boarded as a customer.

MAS will assess applications based only on two criteria – how technological innovative the financial service is, as well as the fitness and propriety of the applicant’s key stakeholders.

The applications will be fast-tracked, with approval decisions granted within 21 days. 

Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS, said, “We are heartened that the FinTech Regulatory Sandbox has been well received by the industry. We have engaged with more than 150 FinTech players since the Sandbox was launched; and a number of firms have experimented in the sandbox."

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

The public consultation will run from November 14 to December 13, 2018. A copy of the public consultation paper is available on the MAS website.