Today the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced a new fast track Sandbox Express. It enables certain types of fintechs to participate in the sandbox within 21 days of applying to MAS.
“For innovation to take root, it is important for ideas to be tested quickly and in a safe environment,” said Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer MAS. “Sandbox Express aims to achieve this through appropriate disclosures and pre-defined rules.”.”
The regulator emphasized that the new sandbox version is only open to low risk and well understood experiments. Hence it is limited to insurance brokers, recognized market operators and remittance businesses. But it may expand the scope in future.
There are set conditions that need to be met for acceptance. These include clear and proper disclosures to consumers and regularly updating MAS.
Also, if during the 21 day review period, MAS concludes a project is not a fit for Sandbox Express, it will become a regular Sandbox application.
Experiments can remain within the new sandbox for up to nine months.
In 2016 MAS launched its FinTech Regulatory Sandbox. But the current approach involves MAS spending significant time reviewing each project. MAS has noticed patterns and concluded that for certain activities that it regulates, the risks can be managed “within
certain specific boundaries”.
MAS is concerned that some might exploit the situation. So it will not allow the same or similar projects to have both an express and regular application at the same time. Plus it has a three month cooling off period after rejection before it will reconsider an application.
MAS is also a participant in the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), which is a cross border regulatory sandbox. However, it’s still necessary to apply to each regulator.
In the blockchain arena, MAS is known for is its extensive experiments with Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) in Project Ubin. This also includes a trial for cross border payments with Canada’s CBDC Project Jasper.