Regulatory Sandbox

What is the Regulatory Sandbox?

You may come across innovative financial products and services enabled by technology (FinTech), for example when you make payment transfers or remittances, assess your personal finance or insurance needs, compare financial products that you are considering buying or to track the performance of your investments. 

To encourage a thriving environment for innovative ideas, MAS started the FinTech regulatory sandbox (sandbox) in June 2016. The sandbox is to allow firms to experiment with new technology, and offer innovative financial products and services – but within a clearly defined space and for a limited time period. The sandbox experiment usually would only allow the product or service to be offered to a limited number of customers, or limit the number of transactions allowed within the pre-set sandbox period.

What you should watch out for 

Are you thinking about purchasing a product or engaging the services of a company that is operating in the sandbox?

As a first step, do check whether the company is approved to operate in the sandbox. All sandbox companies will have their names, the start and expiry dates of the sandbox period published on MAS’ website.

Do be aware that the sandbox company is not required to comply with some of the usual regulatory requirements imposed for providing financial products and services to customers.  The sandbox company is allowed to do so for a limited time, and only with certain conditions and safeguards.

Generally, the sandbox company will have to ensure that there are safeguards to contain the consequences of business failure during experimentation and to minimise any impact on the financial system.

These are the steps a sandbox company is required to take in order to offer products and services:

  • Clearly inform customers that it is operating in the sandbox
  • Disclose the key risks associated with the product or service, for example these may relate to non-delivery or underperformance of a product or service.
  • Customers will need to acknowledge that they have read and understood these risks                                                           

It is important for you to understand that by participating in any sandbox experiment, you may not be able to seek help from consumer protection schemes such as the dispute resolution scheme under Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (FIDReC), or the deposit insurance scheme / policy owners’ protection scheme administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC).

What happens after the sandbox experiment ends?

You have to be aware of what happens after the sandbox experiment time period is up.

Some sandbox companies may apply for a licence with MAS to continue their business. However, other sandbox companies may cease to offer the financial product or service after the sandbox experiment is terminated. A sandbox company may not choose to apply for a licence for reasons such as finding that their business model is not viable, the technology is unable to deliver the expected results, or the sandbox company is unable to meet regulatory requirements upon exiting the sandbox.   Under such circumstance, the sandbox company should inform you in advance and exit in accordance with the agreement that you have entered into with the sandbox company.

Do consider how these scenarios will impact you as a consumer.

All financial products and services come with benefits as well as risks and limitations. You must take the time to understand the features of the product or service offered, and assess whether the product or service meets your needs. 

Checklist for consumers  

  1. Before you take up any product or service, check if the firm you plan to deal with is approved to operate in the sandbox. Do refer to the MAS’ website [link] for a list of sandbox entities.
  2. Make sure you fully understand the risks of the product or service before committing.
  3. Find out what would happen to the product or service after the sandbox entity exits the sandbox. While some sandbox entities may go on to apply for a licence with MAS, some may cease to conduct any MAS regulated activity after the sandbox duration expires or the sandbox experiment has been terminated.  


Lastly, all transactions carry risks, make sure you read and understand the key risks associated with the product or service before committing. 

You can refer to the FinTech regulatory sandbox guidelines published on 16 November 2016, which set out the objectives of the regulatory sandbox. Click for more information on the regulatory sandbox on the MAS website.