Thai Central Bank Allows Fintech Experimentation

Vireka Suntapuntu, Senior Director of the Financial Institution Applications Department, Thailand

Vireka Suntapuntu, Senior Director of the Financial Institution Applications Department, Thailand

The Bank of Thailand will open the way for financial-technology product experimentation under its regulatory «sandbox» in the first quarter of next year.

Vireka Suntapuntu, senior director of the Financial Institution Applications Department, said at a press briefing on Wednesday in Bangkok that the central bank was holding an online public hearing via its website about the regulatory sandbox until October 15, before announcing the opening up of the sandbox to commercial banks as the first group that would be allowed to join the scheme in the first quarter of next year.

Non-bank financial institutions with fintech developments will be able to apply for the sandbox in the second quarter, she said.

Beginners Join the Incubator Programmes

According to Thai newspaper «The Nation» the regulatory sandbox is suitable for banks, non-bank fintech developers and technology firms that have sufficient capital and human resources, while start-ups who are fintech beginners should join the incubator programmes offered by financial institutions or the Fintech Club before joining the sandbox.

The experimental period under the regulatory sandbox will be around six months to 12 months.

Ease Some Regulations

The regulatory sandbox will ensure that the Bank of Thailand (BOT), banks and other fintech operators share information and understanding in regard to the regulations, she said, adding that the BOT would ease some regulations if the experiment found them to be barriers to the competitiveness of fintechs and banks.

«Meanwhile, the sandbox will help banks and non-bank fintech businesses understand how to develop products and services that comply with the regulations, thus enabling them to quickly receive licences form the BOT,» Suntapuntu stressed.

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