Monetary Authority of Singapore plans launch of Sandbox Express

Maria Nikolova

The aim of Sandbox Express is to enable firms that plan to conduct regulated activities to embark on experiments more quickly, without having to go through the existing bespoke sandbox application and approval process.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) continues its fintech-orientated efforts. The regulator today released a consultation paper on the creation of pre-defined sandboxes, known as Sandbox Express.

The program is set to complement the existing FinTech Regulatory Sandbox that was launched in 2016. The purpose of Sandbox Express is to enable firms that plan to conduct regulated activities to embark on experiments more quickly, without having to go through the existing bespoke sandbox application and approval process.

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

MAS will assess applications based only on two criteria:

  1. technological innovativeness of the financial service, and

  2. fitness and propriety of the applicant’s key stakeholders.

The applications will be fast-tracked, with approval decisions granted within 21 days. An approved pre-defined sandbox entity will be required to submit periodic progress reports to MAS as well as ensure that the pre-defined sandbox expectations are adhered to.

Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS, said that more than 150 FinTech players had been engaged in the project since the Sandbox was launched; and a number of firms have experimented in the sandbox.

The public consultation will run from November 14, 2018, to December 13, 2018.

Talking of financial innovation, let’s note that earlier this week, MAS outlined the Principles for the use of artificial intelligence and data analytics (AIDA) in decision-making in the provision of financial products and services.

Among these key principles is that of transparency, with the regulator noting that a balance should be struck in this respect. Whereas increased transparency in AIDA firms’ use of AIDA could improve public understanding and confidence in AIDA, excessive transparency could create confusion or unintended opportunities for individuals to exploit or manipulate AIDA models, MAS says. It is important to balance these considerations in determining the appropriate level of transparency in the use of AIDA.

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