A partnership between the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) will offer innovators the chance to undertake cross-border tests for financial services, products, technologies and models.
GFIN is an international network of twenty three financial regulators from countries including the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Canada, Mexico and the United States.
It also brings on board non-regulator participants, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
GFIN is inviting applications for firms to test innovative financial products, services, business models or regulatory technology across more than one country before 31 December 2020.
CMA joined GFIN in 2019. According to the regulator, the test environment is designed for regulators to study outcomes of the tests to catalyze financial innovations in their own jurisdictions.
Application forms are available on both the CMA and GFIN websites.
CMA Acting Chief Executive Wycliffe Shamiah welcomed the programme, describing it as a unique opportunity to support innovation in the country.
Shamiah highlighted the role played by financial technology in the capital markets value chain, noting it was a key enabler for enhanced efficiency.
He reiterated that supporting fintech innovation was central to the regulator’s long-term strategic plan.
Seven companies have so far been admitted into the first regulatory sandbox set up by CMA in March 2019.
It offers firms the chance to access a live testing environment for their products, services and models in a live market environment, with appropriate safeguards in place.
“The sandbox aims to accelerate CMA’s understanding of emerging technologies, support adoption of an evidence-based approach to regulation and facilitate deepening and broadening of Kenya’s capital markets,” the regulator noted in a statement.
The ubiquitous use of mobile money services in Kenya has catalyzed financial innovation in the country, making it among the leading fintech destinations on the continent.
In 2019, according to the Global Fintech Rankings by Findexable, the country ranked second in Africa after South Africa.
The ranking was driven by the presence of incubators and developments in the sector as well as regulatory efforts.