Remittance and Retail Payment Providers among 24 Companies Accepted for FCA's Fintech Sandbox

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced the first 24 companies that will be taking part in its regulatory sandbox.

In 2014, the FCA launched Project Innovate, in a bid to provide businesses on the regulations that they are required to abide by.

In a bid to keep London as the FinTech centre, earlier this year, the FCA considered approving blockchain startups to actively encourage businesses to employ the technology.

In September, it was reported that the FCA had had accepted 24 applicants out of 69 to take part in its first regulatory sandbox after applications closed in July, with many of them including blockchain organizations; however, the names of those taking part weren’t mentioned.

Now, two years after Project Innovate was launched, the first 24 firms have been unveiled that will take part in the FCA’s regulatory sandbox. These include retail payment providers to money transfer services.

The regulatory sandbox will provide the ideal platform for firms to test different innovations in real-time; however, they won’t be impacted by regulation as they undertake the testing process.

Chris Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said that the regulatory sandbox was a first worldwide for regulators, demonstrating the FCA’s commitment to innovation providing the chance to think outside the box.

 

Woolard said:

It has been an intense process for both firms and ourselves and we are grateful for their cooperation and hard work in getting us all to this position.

 

Some of the firms taking part include, Billion, an e-money platform, BitX, a cross-border money transfer service, Citizens Advice, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nivaura, a platform that employs automation and blockchain for issuance, and SETL, a smartcard-enabled retail payment system.

FinTech Pressure in London

The announcement of the 24 firms taking place will help boost London’s FinTech scene particularly at a time when many think England’s capital is feeling the pressure post-Brexit.

According to the report, since the Brexit vote in June, there has been a significant drop in venture capital funding in London. In 2016, venture capital funding had decreased to $386 million compared to $580 million in 2015.

Others, though, think that London will remain at the top with concerns simply being taken out of proportion.

The next wave of companies to take part in the FCA’s regulatory sandbox can submit their applications on November 21. This will then be followed by a ten-week testing process before companies begin real-time tests in May 2017.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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