An Industry Sandbox could be useful in developing and testing new products and business models that are specifically designed to foster financial access and improve financial health and wellness. It could be a venue for collaboration between industry participants, regulators and consumer organizations to explore insights on the potential of new products and business models to address market failures with pressing social dimensions.

In particular, a Sandbox can make is easier to share and analyse data on what consumer issues with access and inclusion are. Such data would be collected either through companies’ complaint procedures (on an anonymised basis) or via public services such as an ombudsman. Thin data about the prevalence of an issue is sometimes used as a reason for rejecting or deferring action to resolve it. An Industry Sandbox can improve the transparency of such data in aggregate and thus highlight pain points which innovative solutions can seek to resolve.

Furthermore, alternative or difficult to access data, for example on credit scores, can be made more widely available through an Industry Sandbox, fuelling new business models powered by such data. An Industry Sandbox for financial inclusion would be well positioned to support data philanthropy initiatives, providing an operating and governance model for private sector data to be shared for the delivery of a public benefit.

Additionally, such Sandbox could include measurable indicators of delivering financial inclusion as part of its Certification Capability, giving industry validation for the social benefit of an innovation.

Finally, as a Sandbox could improve access to best practices, at operational and business level, in the delivery of financial inclusion products, this might be especially helpful where solutions are to be integrated in the legacy infrastructure in less accessible or remote markets. Accessing regulators across regions via a dedicated Forum could more efficiently pinpoint where policy change is required to facilitate financial inclusion.

Overall, lowering product development cost, reducing time to market, and encouraging consumer-friendly innovation are trends that can positively impact financial access.

 

“An industry-wide sandbox like this would be incredibly useful for gathering insight as we develop products for financially excluded communities. Financial exclusion is a huge problem, blocking three billion bankless people from access to basic financial services. Azimo exists to solve these problems. We would relish having access to data that helps us build the tools and services that people desperately need, not to mention pinpoint the areas where regulatory action is necessary to enable change.”

– Marta Krupinska, Founder and General Manager, Azimo

 

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