The Bank of Ghana recently launched a regulatory and innovative program, the Sandbox pilot. The program reflects the central bank’s commitment to creating an inclusive regulatory environment for the growth of FinTechs and to support innovation.
The Sandbox program will be available to banks, specialised deposit-taking institutions and payment service providers including dedicated electronic money issuers. The program will also provide a forum for financial sector innovators to interact with the sector regulator to test digital financial service innovations while helping to grow the regulatory environment.
Certain innovations have been specifically earmarked to benefit from the program, including new digital business models which are not currently covered by any regulations and new digital financial service technologies and products which have the potential to address a persistent financial inclusion challenge.
Within these broad categories, the Bank of Ghana would give preference to products and services leveraging blockchain technology, remittance products, crowdfunding products and services, e-KYC (electronic know your customer) platforms, RegTech (regulatory technology), SupTech (supervisory technology), digital banking, products and services targeting women, and financial inclusion and innovative merchant payment solutions for micro, small and medium size enterprises (MSMEs).
It is hoped that the Sandbox program will drive financial inclusion through innovative financial services by reducing time to market products, allowing regulators to learn about innovations faster, encouraging innovators to formalize their business and incentivise incumbents to experiment with new ideas, reducing the cost of innovation for innovators and providing valuable insight for regulators to evolve effective regulations.