(TCSI): A regional initiative aimed at encouraging the use of innovative, technology based solutions to provide financial services was recently touted in the nation’s capital, Honiara.
This was done through a day long consultation hosted by the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) on the Regional Regulatory Sandbox Guidelines with various stakeholders, representing the public and private sectors, development partners and civil society.
The Regulatory Sandbox is a regional initiative undertaken by the Leaders of the Pacific Islands Regional Initiative (PIRI) comprising seven Pacific Islands Central Banks including Central Bank of Solomon Islands.
According to a statement released by the CBSI, the Regional Regulatory Sandbox Guidelines is the first of its kind in terms of allowing these seven Central Banks to collaborate to encourage potential solution providers and innovators to experiment and test their prototype innovative financial services in a live environment.
However, all testing and prototyping carried out through the initiative will be carried out with clear guidelines and criteria which enables proportionate regulation and supervision by the Central Bank.
The Primary Objective of the PIRI Regional Sandbox is to ‘encourage, enable and attract new innovations, entrants, products and services to PIRI member countries. Some of the key benefits are; encourage market-led innovations, reduce and contain risk, improve time-to-market
AFI has assisted Pacific Central Banks in framing the Regional Regulatory Sandbox with extensive consultations with respective member countries such as the one recently held in Honiara.
The Regulatory Sandbox intends to provide a ‘framework through which controlled testing of new financial products and services can be conducted under close supervision of the Central Bank’.
Additionally, the framework will provide recognition of the importance of innovative technological solutions to scale financial inclusion, enhance response to emerging risks, the need to encourage innovation and to build an internationally-reputable financial system that supports growth and development.
The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) is a global alliance of development countries which seeks to empower policymakers to increase access to quality financial services for the poorest populations, especially the unbanked.
The network includes members from more than 90 countries working together to accelerate the adoption of proven and innovative financial inclusion policy solutions with the ultimate aim of making financial services more accessible to the world’s unbanked.