Regulatory Sandbox scheme

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Recently, the Reserve Bank tweaked guidelines for the Regulatory Sandbox (RS) scheme.

About Regulatory Sandbox scheme

  • It refers to live testing of new products or services in a controlled regulatory environment.
  • It acts as a "safe space" for business as the regulators may or may not permit certain relaxations for the limited purpose of testing. 
  • It can provide a structured avenue for the regulator to engage with the ecosystem and to develop innovation-enabling or innovation-responsive regulations that facilitate delivery of relevant, low-cost financial products.
  • It is potentially an important tool which enables more dynamic, evidence-based regulatory environments which learn from, and evolve with, emerging technologies.
  • Objectives
    • It provides an environment to innovative technology-led entities for limited-scale testing of a new product or service that may or may not involve some relaxation in a regulatory requirement before a wider-scale launch.
    • The RS is, at its core, a formal regulatory programme for market participants to test new products, services or business models with customers in a live environment, subject to certain safeguards and oversight.
    • The proposed financial service to be launched under the RS should include new or emerging technology, or use of existing technology in an innovative way and should address a problem, or bring benefits to consumers.
    • To foster responsible innovation in financial services, promote efficiency and bring benefit to consumers.
  • The RBI had issued the 'Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox' in August 2019, after wide ranging consultations with stakeholders.
  • The recently updated framework requires
    • The sandbox entities to ensure compliance with provisions of the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023.
    • The timelines of the various stages of the Regulatory Sandbox process have been revised from seven months to nine months
    • The target applicants for entry to the RS are fintech companies, including startups, banks, financial institutions, any other company, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) and partnership firms, partnering with or providing support to financial services businesses.

Q1) What is limited liability partnership?

It is an alternative corporate business form that gives the benefits of limited liability of a company and the flexibility of a partnership. The LLP can continue its existence irrespective of changes in partners. It is capable of entering into contracts and holding property in its own name. It is a separate legal entity, is liable to the full extent of its assets but liability of the partners is limited to their agreed contribution in the LLP.

Source: RBI tweaks norms related to Regulatory Sandbox scheme