Hong Kong, mainland China to link regulatory sandbox to aid cross-border FinTech growth

The monetary authorities in Hong Kong and China have agreed to create a one-stop sandbox platform to help companies develop cross-border FinTech products quicker.

According to South China Morning Post, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) have signed a memorandum of understanding to link up their sandbox supervisory platforms.

This move will provide FinTech startups across the region with the chance to test their products in a controlled environment on specific groups of customers before they are brought to the mass market. While there is currently no time frame for its introduction, a spokesperson from the HKMA has said the two authorities would encourage FinTechs to get in contact with them about the initiatives.

HKMA chief executive Eddie Yue Wai-man said that the link-up of the two banks will reinforce the Bay Area’s leading FinTech position and ‘facilitate innovation in the region’.

He added, “This arrangement also strengthens fintech supervisory exchanges in an environment of rapidly advancing technology. Deepening the cooperation between Hong Kong and the mainland in the areas of finance, technology and supervision is in line with the direction of enhancing Hong Kong’s competitive position and better integrating Hong Kong into the country’s overall development.”

Hong Kong financial services lawmaker Christopher Cheung Wah-fung added, “Without such a one-stop sandbox platform, the fintech companies would need to join sandbox platforms in Hong Kong and the mainland separately. The new approach will allow them to do their experiments faster and at a lower cost, and hence will encourage companies to develop more cross-border financial tools.

“This will help to promote more cross-border payments and investment and will encourage more capital flows within the 11 cities of the Greater Bay Area. It will be a new turbocharge to push the cluster to become a global economic powerhouse.”

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