Advances in financial technology (FinTech) have led to the emergence of products and services that have the potential to make conducting financial transactions more efficient and less expensive. However, the rapid evolution of FinTech also means that these innovations might not be captured under current financial sector legislation that exists to protect Barbadians.
As a result, the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) and the Financial Services Commission (FSC), the nation’s two financial regulators, have established a Regulatory Sandbox where entities can do live testing of their products and services.
The purpose of this Regulatory Sandbox is two-fold. For businesses, it allows them to test the feasibility of their innovations in a real-world, but controlled, environment. For the Regulator, it provides an opportunity to better understand the nature of the product or service and by extension to determine whether the existing regulatory framework is sufficient, or if a new type of legislation is necessary.
The ultimate aim is to ensure that innovative technologies are not stymied, while at the same time protecting Barbadians and the financial system.
A regulatory sandbox is a framework under which businesses can live test their innovative products and services on a small scale, while being closely monitored by regulators. Sandboxes give businesses an idea of how their products or services will perform on the market, while allowing regulators to determine if and how these products or services should be regulated.
Financial Technology or FinTech relates to the use of modern technology to provide financial services.
An entity that is responsible for the regulation of financial institutions and/or monitors the financial institutions to ensure they are complying with legislation and regulatory guidelines.
Regulatory Review Panel (RRP)
A team comprising representatives from the Central Bank of Barbados and the Financial Services Commission, as well as an observer from the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Innovation. The panel may also draw on the expertise of subject matter experts from outside these organisations.
Real as opposed to simulated. The businesses in the Regulatory Sandbox will be conducting business with real customers, albeit in a closely monitored environment.