Abu Dhabi Joins Regulators of the World in Launching Their Own Fintech Sandbox

Abu Dhabi Joins Regulators of the World in Launching Their Own Fintech Sandbox

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi, announced an initiative to launch a FinTech digital sandbox.

The digital sandbox allows financial institutions (FIs) and FinTech innovators to come together to experiment on products and solutions in a digital platform environment, supported by regulatory standards developed by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of ADGM.

The ADGM digital sandbox allows:

  • FIs to source and procure FinTech solutions locally and globally, run tests digitally on the platform, and adopt and orchestrate the best ones that meet their business needs.
  • FinTechs to offer their innovative solutions to international market players, and tap cross-border market access and opportunities to grow and scale their business.
  • Participants in the UAE and regional markets to connect with other international markets and vice versa.

One of the biggest challenges FIs encounter in their ability to embrace innovation relates to the integration of their legacy banking systems with the FinTechs’ solutions.

The ADGM digital sandbox will support and enable APIs that connect legacy systems of FIs to FinTechs in a cost-effective and scalable manner, with synthetic data hosted on the cloud in a secure manner.

To promote industry adoption, interoperability, financial inclusion, and convergence to higher standards, the FSRA of ADGM will develop guidance on the standards and IT security requirements for open APIs and cloud adoption.

Based on FSRA’s regulatory standards for the usage of the platform, it will be able to provide a regulated environment for experimentation.  With the advent of innovative supervisory technology, FSRA will be able to leverage the digital sandbox to supervise the test activities of FinTech participants that are licensed in its Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab) in real time.

As part of ADGM’s commitment to foster a global marketplace for digital transformation and financial inclusion, ADGM will look to work with other international financial centres to bring together FIs and FinTech firms between the MENA region and the Asia-Pacific region onto an online digital platform enabled by open APIs.

Richard Teng, CEO of ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority, said:

Richard Teng

Richard Teng

“As a FinTech Hub, ADGM is consistently looking at innovative ways to serve and anticipate the needs of its stakeholders. The objective of the digital sandbox is to help FIs build deep digital capabilities to tap market opportunities, and promote financial inclusion through innovative technologies to better cater to the underserved population in the MENA region.”