Fintech Sandbox: Financial Conduct Authority Provides Update on Participants

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has just released an update on their regulatory Sandbox created to help aspiring Fintech firms to navigate the labyrinth of financial services rules. The trailblazing project, which has been replicated around the world, kicked off in 2014 and the FCA is now in its 3rd cohort of firms.

“Since we first opened the sandbox, it has supported almost 70 firms in testing innovative new products and services,” stated Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA. “It is particularly encouraging that we are now seeing more applicants from outside London and a broader range of firms testing in the sandbox. As we open the application window for our next sandbox cohort, we continue to encourage applications from firms of all sizes and from a wide range of sectors, including sectors we haven’t seen heavily represented in the sandbox to date.”

According to the FCA, 61 applicants applied for this round of participants and 18 met the Sandbox standards. The FCA says it continues to see successful sandbox applications from a diverse range of sectors, locations and firm size. Accepted propositions cover a range of areas including Blockchain based payment services, Regtech propositions, insurance, AML controls, and biometric digital ID and Know Your Customer (KYC) verification.

In the Fintech Sandbox’s first phase, a majority of the firms were London-based with only a few from other parts of the UK.

As the FCA continues to increase its regional engagement in emerging Fintech hubs, the proportion of regional firms has increased in each subsequent cohort. Over 40% of firms invited to test in cohort 3 are based outside London, compared to 35% in cohort 2 and 25% in cohort 1.

If you are interested, the FCA is now accepting applications from firms to be part of their fourth Sandbox. Firms have until 31 January 2018 to submit their applications. Find out more about the Regulatory Sandbox here.

The list of cohort 3 firms are below.

Barclays

Regtech proposition which tracks updates to regulations within the FCA Handbook and aligns their implementation to Barclays’ internal policies.

Barkat Ventures

International money transfer platform that enables customers to send healthcare services along with their remittances.

Chynge

DLT-based cross-border money remittance system that incorporates a transaction monitoring system which is powered by a virtual, artificial-intelligence compliance bot to tackle money laundering, terrorism financing, and fraud more efficiently.

Curl

New consumer payment network designed around open banking APIs, which works via @usernames and direct bank transfers.

Economic Data Sciences

Technology solution that utilises artificial intelligence to provide fund managers with a mathematically-defined optimal trade-off among a number of risks and objectives during the investment selection process.

Etherisc

Uses smart-contracts on a blockchain to provide fully-automated decentralised flight insurance.

first direct and Bud

App which learns customers attributes from transactional and demographic data to identify financial and non-financial products from a marketplace of first direct, HSBC and external institutions.

FutureFlow

Transaction monitoring system that monitors the movement of money through the economy by tagging individual units of value in transaction amounts and facilitates the sharing of anonymised information between parties in order to help prevent financial crime.

Nationwide

Automated solution providing digital savings guidance and investment advice.

Orca

P2P investment aggregation platform that facilitates investment in a diversified portfolio of P2P loans.

reBank

Platform that consolidates business bank accounts into one login. Using predictive algorithms, reBank offers businesses the potential to improve the efficiency of their banking tasks and business payments.

ResonanceX

New electronic platform that enables end-to-end automation of price discovery, execution and life-cycle management of structured products using centralised or blockchain asset custody.

Sherpa Management Services

Insurance solution that offers members one account to set-up and manage multiple insurance risks. Sherpa offer dynamic products which provide the ability to increase and decrease the sum assured as needs change.

Solidi

Blockchain based payments platform that uses cryptocurrencies to facilitate money remittance at a faster speed and with lower transaction costs.

Spherical Defence Labs

Application Programming Interface (API) security system that detects advanced hacks and breaches in banks powered by deep learning and computational linguistics.

Square Book

New auction method of book-building for initial public offerings/private placements that aims to be fairer and more transparent than existing methodologies.

Wrisk

Usage-based contents insurance product with innovative risk scoring method.

Yoti

Technology provider that lets users create an encrypted, biometric digital identity linked to their government issued ID. Yoti lets users of the app actively consent to share their verified identity details with financial institutions for use in KYC verification.

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