The increasingly popular financial technology (fintech) firm Bitt will be the first to take part in a regulatory sandbox.
This was revealed on Friday as officials announced the company’s mobile wallet, Mmoney, would be the test subject.
Earlier this week the Central Bank of Barbados in a joint statement with the Financial Services Commission (FSC), said both institutions had come together to establish the framework for the regulatory sandbox.
The idea behind the sandbox mechanism is to test innovations within a restricted space that protects both consumers and the financial system from risk and determine if the service, product or business model should be regulated by existing legislation, new legislation, or if it should be regulated at all.
Speaking at a media conference at Bitts’ Wildey, St Michael office, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Senator Rawdon Adams said while this would likely put the company under increased scrutiny, it would allow for greater confidence among those who were first skeptical about the Mmoney.
“At the end of it what we expect is regulatory clarity,”said Adams.
The sandbox began on Friday and will last about 12 weeks.
Adams said customers and merchants using the Mmoney wallet would be “able to continue with confidence to use our products”, describing it as “faster, cheaper and more secure than existing alternatives”.
“The reputational aspect for getting this right are absolutely key to a small jurisdiction like Barbados,” he said, adding that the regulatory sandbox could open doors for the country to attract other innovative fintech firms.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley said transformation was necessary for the Barbados economy to grow, pointing out that the regulatory sandbox formed part of the wider transformation that the economy was in need of.
“Even as we stabilize our economy we must find new ways of doing things and we must embrace new technologies in order to be on the cutting edge,” said Mottley, as she lauded Bitt for its Mmoney wallet.
One of the requirements was that Bitt had 101 per cent of money in its reserves for all the money reflected on the Mmoney wallet.
Officials said this would make sure consumers were not being put at risk.
Mmoney users were also assured it was business as usual for them and they would not be asked to divulge more personal data than is required under existing laws.