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South Africa links fintech startups with financial regulators

South Africa’s financial regulators have initiated the Inter-governmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) Innovation Hub to respond to modifications in the financial sector guided by fintech to promote innovation.

The IFWG includes engagement from a number of bodies including South Africa’s National Treasury, the Financial Intelligence Centre, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, the National Credit Regulator, the South African Reserve Bank, and the South African Revenue Service.

The Innovation hub is proposed to help new fintech companies and innovators that complement the key instructions of regulators, including financial stability and reliability; customer safety; financial inclusion; and fair lending measures.

The center helps in providing assistance to innovators in the fintech world, given by IFWG members, and is available for all financial sector innovators, whether from a startup, a renowned fintech firm, an official financial service provider or an adjacent industry joining the financial services industry.

The benefits of joining the hub include an explanation of the regulatory outlook, availability of space for testing the regulatory requirements of innovative solutions, and participation in opportunities and forums shaping the future of financial sector regulation on new fintech topics.

To attain assistance, users will have three approaches. The first one involves a Regulatory Guidance Unit that exists to help innovators resolve specific questions related to the policy outlook and regulatory requirements. The second one includes a Regulatory Sandbox that provides sector innovators with opportunities to try out new products and services, under the guidance of regulators.

The final one, called the Innovation Accelerator, will provide a cooperative, investigative environment for financial sector regulators to learn from and work with each other – and the wider financial ecosystem – on emerging innovations in the industry.