What is the Regulatory Sandbox License
15 Jun 2020
Sandbox: What is it and why is it important?
No, we are not talking about the sandbox where children play and have fun here. In this digital era, the meaning of this word takes on a whole new dimension. If you are a Web Developer, then you must surely know that a sandbox is a closed environment enabling you to isolate part of the code to test changes.
What about the regulatory sandbox in the FinTech industry? It is a testing ground, controlled by regulatory organisations, where businesses are able to test their products and services. These companies are partially or even completely exempted from some rules. Provided they meet certain specific requirements, they can rest assured that there will be no sanctions against them. Recently, there has been an increasing need to create regulatory frameworks for emerging business models such as that of Fundkiss.
The origin of the regulatory sandbox: How did it all start?
In 2015, the idea of the regulatory sandbox was first conceived in the United Kingdom. The goal behind implementing this regulatory framework was to encourage competition and increase the supply of financial products available to consumers. Since then, several countries have followed suit: Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Australia and Holland.
In Mauritius, the Regulatory Sandbox License is issued by the Economic Development Board (EDB) to eligible companies willing to invest in innovative projects according to an agreed set of terms and conditions for a defined period. To be eligible, these firms need to demonstrate the innovative nature of their project, whether at the local, regional or international level.
In July 2017, Fundkiss became the first company in Mauritius to obtain the Regulatory Sandbox License (RSL), hence allowing the company to finally operate. Before that, there was no specific legislation for crowdlending in Mauritius. With the RSL, Fundkiss came to be the very first crowdlending platform in Mauritius, connecting entrepreneurs with investors and helping companies of all sizes to thrive.
What are the objectives of the regulatory sandbox?
- To supply FinTech companies with a structure, where they have to meet the relevant regulations in the fast-moving world of FinTech
- To provide companies with better access to finance
- To create the opportunity for start-up companies to demonstrate their innovation
- To encourage investment. Potential Lenders are more likely to invest in a company if they are sure that it operates in a regulated environment
- To create awareness and to improve both individuals’ and organisations’ knowledge of FinTech products and services
- To protect the rights of consumers
In a nutshell, the Regulatory Sandbox plays an essential role in the growth, adoption, and investment of FinTech innovation, at the same time providing suitable protection for consumers and investors’ interests. The Regulatory Sandbox License has been a real game-changer for Fundkiss, allowing the online platform to provide an alternative financing solution to Mauritian SMEs.