The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) has announced the launch of the Fintech Regulatory Sandbox (FRS) initiative, through which participants can apply to live test their innovative fintech solutions, that are enabled by new technologies, in a safe environment under the supervision of the CBO.
The CBO has issued the framework for the Fintech Regulatory Sandbox initiative which includes the eligibility criteria for application, processes and expectations, as well as the evaluation process of the Sandbox live testing period. The first phase of the FRS will be open to receive fintech applications related to payments solutions.
A fintech Regulatory Sandbox is a common and worldwide-used approach to achieve the objective of harnessing opportunities for innovation in the financial sector while mitigating the accompanying risks. The FRS is a testing environment in which the CBO will grant certain regulatory exemptions for participants that have fintech solution applications entering the FRS, thus allowing them to live test their banking, payments and other financial services solutions on volunteer customers in order to prove their viability. Such testing is live in the sense that it will include actual volunteer customers yet with limitations on their numbers, the volumes and values of operations as well as on the way some operations are conducted.
His Excellency Tahir Al Amri, the Executive President of the CBO stated that this initiative will allow the local financial sector to develop through a safe testing environment that allows entrepreneurs and financial institutions to keep up with the rapid changes in financial technology worldwide.
The FRS will enhance competition in the financial sector by allowing participants to better understand the benefits and risks of their fintech solutions, as well as by reducing the time needed to fully offer the solution to the local market.
This experience will allow the CBO to introduce agile regulatory frameworks and other strategic initiatives to foster innovation in the Omani financial sector while maintaining financial stability and ensuring high standards for consumer protection.