Launched in August 2022, the Regulatory Sandbox is tool aimed at harnessing the potential of technology to develop an efficient and inclusive financial service industry without risking financial stability.
More importantly, it is expected to serve as an enabling framework for small scale, live testing of innovations by innovators (operating under a special exemption, allowance, or other limited, time-bound exception) in a controlled environment under the regulator’s supervision.
It aims at, among others, fostering a deeper understanding of innovative products, services and business models by the regulator, allowing for potential improvements to legal and regulatory requirements to encapsulate emerging technologies, and ensuring careful monitoring and containment of any risks that may emerge.
The Regulatory Sandbox is open to all licensed financial institutions (Banks, Specialized Deposit-taking Institutions, Payment Service Providers, Dedicated Electronic Money Issuers, Financial Holding companies and other Non-Bank Financial Institutions) and unlicensed FinTech start-ups that have innovative products, services or business models that meet the Regulatory Sandbox requirements.
In a release issued by the central bank, it said the Sandbox was now open from February 13- March 14, 2023 to admit the first cohort of participants.
It noted that the first cohort window, would largely accept innovations from priority areas such as; payments; remittances; crowdfunding; and micro-lending.
It said prospective participants would be informed of the outcome of the application within twenty-one (21) working days after the closure of the application window on 14th March 2023.