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Innovation Hub supports responsible Fintech innovation

Posted on July 10, 2020

Innovation Hub supports responsible Fintech innovation

Through its Innovation Hub, the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG), aims to provide  resources to fintechs and other financial sector innovators to promote responsible financial sector innovation.

The IFWG Innovation Hub was launched earlier this year to respond to changes in the financial sector driven by financial technology (fintech) and to promote responsible innovation in the sector. The Innovation Hub aims 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.

Fintech innovation leverages technology to address inefficiencies and other challenges in the financial sector. It embraces agility, adaptability and responsiveness, traits that are essential as local and global economies navigate this period of uncertainty.

In a press release, the IFWG said to help address the expected economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, it believes innovation among fintech firms and other financial sector innovators is required now more than ever and, therefore, must be supported.

The Innovation 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 (e.g. retail, telecommunications).

Innovation Hub users have access to three avenues for assistance:

  • The Regulatory Guidance Unit helps market innovators resolve specific questions regarding the policy landscape and regulatory requirements.
  • 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 provides 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. Outcomes of these coordinated efforts will be shared on the IFWG Innovation Hub website.

Members of the IFWG include the Financial Intelligence Centre, Financial Sector Conduct Authority, National Credit Regulator, National Treasury, South African Revenue Service, and the South African Reserve Bank. Formed in 2016, the IFWG is focused on promoting responsible innovation in the South African financial sector. For further background on the IFWG and materials related to its work, visit the IFWG Innovation Hub website.