Hong Kong follows UK lead with fintech "sandbox"

Lynsey Barber
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This photo dated 19 February 2005 shows
Hong Kong is upping its fintech game (Source: Getty)

Hong Kong is the latest city to follow the example of the UK's financial watchdog and set up its own scheme to accelerate the development of financial technology.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has launched a so-called sandbox to let banks experiment with as yet unregulated technology and ideas.

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"Within the Sandbox, banks can try out their new fintech products without the need to achieve full compliance with the HKMA’s usual supervisory requirements," said chief executive Norman Chan.

"This will enable banks to gather real-life data and user feedback on their Fintech products or services more easily and in a controlled environment, so that they can make suitable refinements to their products before the full launch. The HKMA does not intend to stipulate an exhaustive list of the supervisory requirements that may potentially be relaxed within the Sandbox."

It will apply to bank's looking at testing out technology such as biometrics, blockchain, robotics and augmented reality and interested banks have been asked to contact the HKMA directly.

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Britain's Financial Conduct Authority was the first to set up its sanbox this summer following on from the success of Project Innovate. The UK's scheme differs from Hong Kong's in that it supports startups rather than banks.

Since then, Singapore, Australia and Abu Dhabi have also followed suit with similar schemes.

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