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South Africa’s financial regulators have launched the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) Innovation Hub to respond to changes in the financial sector driven by fintech and to promote responsible innovation in the sector.
The SA Reserve Bank said in a statement (opens as a PDF) yesterday that the hub is intended to support the sector in introducing innovations that complement the core mandates of regulators, including financial stability and soundness, consumer protection, financial inclusion and fair lending practices.
To help address the expected economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the IFWG believes innovation among fintech firms and other financial sector innovators is required now more than ever and, therefore, must be supported.
The Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group’s innovation hub aims to help innovators in the sector
The hub provides assistance to innovators in the financial technology space.
Support for these innovators comes from the IFWG members, including the Financial Intelligence Centre, Financial Sector Conduct Authority, National Credit Regulator, National Treasury, South African Revenue Service and South African Reserve Bank.
The hub is open to all financial sector innovators, whether from a start-up, an established fintech firm, an incumbent financial service provider or an adjacent industry entering the financial services market.
The hub offers clarification on the regulatory landscape, access to a space for testing the regulatory fit of innovative solutions and participation in initiatives and forums helping to shape the future of financial sector regulation on emerging fintech topics.
Innovation Hub users have access to three avenues for assistance:
- The Regulatory Guidance Unit exists to help market innovators resolve specific questions regarding the policy landscape and regulatory requirements. Financial sector innovators with questions on fintech or innovation-related financial sector regulation are encouraged to visit the IFWG website and submit an enquiry to the Regulatory Guidance Unit.
- The Regulatory Sandbox provides financial sector innovators with an opportunity to test new products and services that push the boundaries of existing regulation, all under the responsible supervision of relevant regulators.
- The Innovation Accelerator exists to provide a collaborative, exploratory environment for financial sector regulators to learn from and work with each other – and the broader financial sector ecosystem – on emerging innovations in the industry.
Featured image: Screen shot from IFWG