Financial technology and Innovation

Recent years have witnessed an accelerated development in the field of financial technology. This was accompanied by the emergence of a new generation of startups that support financial institutions and digital solutions providers. It has become necessary to employ this development to raise the efficiency of financial service providers, achieve economic prosperity and financial inclusion, increase the flexibility and stability of the financial system, and consider the protection of consumers, in addition to improving the quality of services, reducing costs, and improving customer experience by saving time and effort.

The PMA’s interest in this technology stems from the reality of its social and national responsibility, as it launched, in this context, a series of initiatives aimed at developing and supporting the financial technology sector and promoting digital transformation and infrastructure for payment systems in Palestine. This includes the creation of the Financial Technology and Creativity Department within its functional structure to follow up and implement strategies, monitoring developments in the local and global market, building capacity in the PMA and the financial sector, as well as forming an advisory team for financial technology. This team includes specialists from the technology innovation and leadership system in Palestine, representatives of business incubators and accelerators, and technology innovation centers with the aim of promoting dialogue with the creativity system and providing advice on the new ideas presented regarding financial technology.

On the other hand, the PMA seeks to enhance cooperation with regional and international bodies to learn, benefit and exchange experiences in a way that contributes to developing work methods, adopting the best standards, and upgrading the Palestinian banking sector.

What Is SandBox?

It is an experimental test space or environment available to financial institutions licensed by the PMA, startups, individuals, and entrepreneurs, with the aim of testing their current innovative solutions or related to financial technology or the financial sector in general, on real customers and within a specified space and period.

The Regulatory Sandbox aims to encourage innovation in a sustainable way, providing real value and the necessary protection for consumers of financial services by understanding the impact of new technologies on the financial services market and evaluating that impact. On the other hand, it aims to enable the PMA to understand and keep pace with the rapid changes in the field of financial technology.

The Regulatory Lab welcomes local and global companies that want to test new digital solutions in a real environment for future launch. It is an experimental / test space or environment available to financial institutions licensed by the PMA, startups, individuals, and entrepreneurs to test their innovative solutions based on or related to the financial technology or the financial sector in general, in a controlled environment and during a specified period and on real customers.

sandbox

General framework

Please read the general framework before filling out the application.

Eligibility Criteria for Products and Services Submitted for Testing

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Innovation Genuineness

The product or service to be tested must be innovative, add value and facilitate user access to financial services

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Real need for testing

The applicant must have a real need to conduct a test for the proposed innovation so that it cannot be launched due to its conflict with the regulations

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Direct benefits to users

The proposed innovation offers specific (direct or indirect) benefits to the society, financial institutions, the PMA, banks, or other financial sectors

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No risks on the financial system

Have a strategy for managing risks and mitigating those arising from project testing, and suggesting preventative actions to contain the consequences

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Availability of some key resources

Provide test plans with clear success criteria, test scenarios and expected results, complaint handling mechanism and data protection

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Deployment of the test

Demonstrate the ability to publish the project on a large scale inside or outside Palestine and submit a monthly report to the Monetary Authority

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Innovation Readiness

The proposed innovation should be fully ready for actual / real testing

Stages of Applying to the Regulatory Sandbox

Have an innovative product or service ready for the real test?

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Your safe space for testing

Regulatory SandBox Application

FAQs

Individuals or companies provide innovative products or services, and the PMA monitors them closely and through specific stages to identify the product or service and measure its suitability, feasibility, and conformity with the principles of the work of the PMA, as well as whether it should be regulated and the appropriate regulatory mechanism.

All products and services that fall within the scope of financial technology in the financial sector and that comply with the eligibility criteria mentioned in the general framework of the Regulatory Sandbox issued by the PMA (link to the General Framework)

There is no fee to participate in the Regulatory Sandbox.

A designated PMA officer will be designated to act as a "point of contact" between the applicant and the PMA.

The application to the test is done through the official application form (link), which is available on the website of the PMA. For the application form to be considered complete, the applicant must fill all the sections in the form and submit it with any supporting documents, as applicable. The application process includes two main steps:

  • Reading the General Framework of the Regulatory Sandbox (link)
  • Filling out the application form and sending it to sandbox@pma.ps

  • Financial institutions supervised by the PMA (banks, microfinance institutions, payment service companies, money changers)
  • Technology and communications companies that intend to test an innovative product or service.
  • Entrepreneurs, startups, or fintech companies seeking to offer a product or a service that matches the scope of the application.
  • Any other entity (local or foreign) working to provide financial services within the framework of the PMA and intends to provide its product to the financial sector. 

After all application requirements are fully fulfilled in accordance with the general framework of the Regulatory Sandbox, the applicants will be notified by the PMA within (45 days) from the date of submitting the complete application form.

All financial products and services that have never been used in the Palestinian market and that work to achieve the objectives of the Regulatory Sandbox, and there are no special regulatory frameworks for them.

The Regulatory Sandbox will work in a cascading cohort system, which means that interested applicants can submit their applications at a specific time announced by the PMA, to ensure and provide appropriate guidance and control mechanisms to all participants in the tests.

The PMA will publish on its website a list of participants, with the aim of promoting transparency and sharing acquired knowledge with the financial sector.

Yes, but the applicant must obtain prior approval from the Palestinian PMA to make any changes.

No objection if it complies with the eligibility criteria set out in the general framework.

The most important reasons for the need for testing are the lack of regulatory rules regulating work or the existence of a conflict with one of the regulations.

It is permissible to take the test again as soon as possible after completing the readiness, considering the reasons that led to the failure of the test.

It is subject to the same procedures set out in the framework, considering providing the PMA with a partnership contract.

  • If the test is successful, the applicant has the right to apply for a license in accordance with the requirements and instructions of the PMA, and in the absence of sufficient instructions, the applicant is given a letter of no objection allowing him to practice work until the necessary instructions are prepared.
  • If the test is not successful, the applicant must stop providing the financial product or service and fulfill all obligations arising from the test with all parties.

  • At the request of the applicant, he must inform the PMA in writing at least one month before the date of termination, and he must fulfill all obligations towards all parties related to the test, comply with the decisions of the PMA, and submit a detailed report on the actions taken within 30 days.
  • By the PMA, and the applicant is notified in advance of the intention of the PMA, and the applicant will have the opportunity to respond. If the decision is final, he must implement the decision immediately and stop providing the product or service to new and existing users.

Contact Us

Email

  sandbox@pma.ps

Phone

  022415253

Location

  Palestine - Ramallah