Peer Learning on FinTech Regulatory Sandbox – PIRI members in full gear towards opening the Pacific regional regulatory sandbox
Following the launch of the Pacific regional regulatory sandbox in October 2021; a bespoke regulatory approach, adopted by eight small island countries making up the Pacific Islands Regional Initiative (PIRI) and Seychelles, to provide a testing and learning environment for innovators and FinTechs to experiment their novel digital ﬁnancial services and/or business models, with live customers, subject to certain safeguards and oversight, in a drive to support the growth of an emerging digital economy and financial inclusion in participating member countries.
Coming out of the 2-year hiatus following the global lockdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic and striving to achieve readiness and welcome interested FinTechs from the region and across the globe, members are actively organising themselves to implement both at a country and regional level.
In this light, leveraging the peer learning platform availed by AFI, the central banks of Samoa and Seychelles visited the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) on a 2-day in-person peer learning and knowledge exchange exercise held on August 9 – 10, 2022, where learning from RBF’s experience, they engaged in an enriching deep dive on how the regulatory sandbox implementation was approached, how resources and capabilities were organised internally, the communication structure with FinTechs, industry and stakeholders, including the evaluation matrix for assessing risks, formulating safeguards and conditions for testing, and potential pathways to manage exits.
As the participating member countries taking forward the shared regional regulatory sandbox project, and continue to consolidate their planning and collective readiness, reiterating the commitment of each PIRI member institution, the excitement and enthusiasm about the positive impact of FinTech and digital innovation in the Pacific, covering Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and Seychelles, as the first set of FinTechs are admitted into the regional sandbox shows great promise to help increase and sustain financial inclusion by making available relevant DFS and financial products, driving meaningful usage and improving the overall quality of financial services.