Sebi to allow live testing of new products
With an aim to facilitate use of latest fintech innovations in capital markets, regulator Sebi is planning to allow live testing of new products,...
New Delhi: With an aim to facilitate use of latest fintech innovations in capital markets, regulator Sebi is planning to allow live testing of new products, services and business models for selected customers by providing various relaxations and exemptions.
Initially, all Sebi-registered entities will be eligible to participate in such a 'regulatory sandbox' (a live testing environment), while fintech startups and other entities that are not regulated by Sebi may also be allowed at a later stage, but no exemptions would be granted from the existing investor protection framework, KYC and anti-money laundering rules, officials said.
A proposal in this regard will be discussed by Sebi's board later this month, the officials added. The proposed 'regulatory sandbox' is intended to serve as a testing ground for new business models and technologies that benefit investors, Indian markets and the economy at large.
Under this framework, the eligible entities would be granted certain facilities and flexibilities to experiment with fintech solutions in a live environment and on real customers, while ensuring that there are necessary safeguards for investor protection and risk mitigation.
While the Indian capital market participants have been early adopters of technology, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is of the view that adoption and usage of emerging financial technology can be a key instrument to further develop and maintain an efficient, fair and transparent ecosystem.
With this aim, Sebi had set up a committee on financial and regulatory technologies under the chairmanship of T V Mohandas Pai with expert members from the startup industry, fintech community and academicians.
Based on their recommendations, Sebi had last year stipulated a framework for an industry-wide innovation sandbox, under which fintech startups and entities not regulated by Sebi have access to market related data, particularly trading and holding data in an anonymised form to help them test their innovations effectively before their introduction in a life environment.
The committee had also recommended that Sebi may set up a regulatory sandbox to provide a live testing environment where new solutions can be deployed on a limited set of eligible customers for a specified period of time with certain relaxations.
Sebi had subsequently floated a public consultation paper and after taking into account all the comments, it has now finalised a draft set of norms for allowing the regulatory sandbox.
Under the proposed framework, all entities registered with Sebi would be eligible for testing within the regulatory sandbox on its own or use the services of a fintech firm.
In subsequent phases depending on the response received, Sebi may consider permitting fintech startups, fintech firms and other entities that are not regulated by it.