The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced enhancements to its FinTech Regulatory Sandbox framework on 9 November to provide more effective one-stop assistance for firms looking to introduce innovative products and services that are regulated by MAS.
MAS launched the FinTech Regulatory Sandbox in 2016 to encourage and enable experimentation of technology innovation to deliver financial products and services. This was further enhanced by the introduction of Sandbox Express in 2019 to provide firms with a faster option for market testing in pre-defined environments.
The new ‘Sandbox Plus’ initiative, which was brought into effect on 1 January, is intended to further catalyse financial innovation and FinTech adoption in Singapore through three specific enhancements:
- Expansion of eligibility criteria to include early adopters of technology innovation – Previously a company was only eligible for sandbox if no similar implementations were observed in Singapore. By expanding support beyond first movers to early adopters, Sandbox Plus aims to provide a more conducive environment for new technology innovations to gain broader traction in Singapore and provide more options to consumers and businesses.
- Streamlined application with financial grant – First movers of technology innovation can concurrently apply to enter the Regulatory Sandbox and receive a financial grant under the ‘Financial Sector Technology and Innovation – Financial Institution’ (FSTI-FI) Projects track in a single application. Eligible applicants can obtain funding of up to S$500,000 at a 50% funding level, which is disbursed over three payments upon meeting certain conditions, during and after the sandbox period.This financial grant is designed to help meet the cashflow needs of Sandbox Plus applicants and allow them to focus resources on technology innovation and market development while they are still in the Regulatory Sandbox. This will facilitate faster time-to-market and enable applicants to be more market-ready when they graduate from the Regulatory Sandbox.
- Participation in ‘Deal Fridays’ – Eligible applicants will be enrolled in the Deal Fridays programme, a monthly platform for deal-making opportunities between start-ups and investors in the lead up to the Singapore FinTech Festival. This will give sandbox companies better access to the external investor community, to benefit from network, mentoring and funding opportunities.
“FinTech is reshaping financial services at a rapid pace,” said MAS Chief FinTech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty. “Sandbox Plus reflects MAS’ ongoing commitment to support promising technology innovation to take root in Singapore by providing innovators with more effective one-stop support. We hope this will further catalyse new business models with innovative technology in aspiring financial institutions, bringing greater benefits to consumers and the industry.”