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Thailand sets up fintech sandbox

22 September 2016  |  8320 views  |  0 Footsteps in sand

Thailand is the latest country preparing to open a fintech regulatory sandbox, with the central bank set to invite firms to participate early next year.

The sandbox will enable developers working on lending, payment and money-transfer services and products to experiment for up to a year.

An online public hearing on the sandbox will go on until 15 October. Then, in the first quarter of next year commercial banks will be free to apply to join, with non-bank financial firms and technology companies arriving soon after. Smaller startups are being told to join incubator programmes.

According to local paper, The Nation, Vireka Suntapuntu, senior director of the central bank's financial institution applications department, says that the sandbox will help it share information about, and shape, regulation.

Meanwhile, participants will be guided on how to develop products and services that comply with regulations, enabling them to quickly receive licences.

The sandbox was floated earlier this year by Bank of Thailand governor Veerathai Santiprabhob,in part to offset his calls for more regulation of the country's growing fintech sector in order to prevent systemic risk and protect consumers.

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