SEC readies sandbox for fintech firms
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SEC readies sandbox for fintech firms

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will allow the first financial technology (fintech) firms to experiment with its innovative products in a regulatory sandbox by March after public hearings are completed, its head says.

"Fintech is a new matter for the Thai capital market and regulators, so the SEC must launch a regulatory sandbox in parallel to study and regulate issuance. We currently can't identify what the regulations will be as we don't yet know the size of the business. But we believe we will see clearer criteria in less than a year," said SEC secretary-general Rapee Sucharitakul.

The regulatory sandbox is a safe space where businesses can test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms.

The SEC earlier said that it had planned to issue licences to allow both financial institutions and stand-alone fintech firms to test out innovative technologies for private funds and investment advisory services in the second quarter of this year.

Separately, MoneyTable, a startup with credit scoring models that can analyse applicants' financial health and determine their credit score within 30 seconds, successfully raised fund worth US$1.2 million (42.1 million baht) from four venture capital players to develop the technology platform.

The fund-raising size appears to be the largest for the seed stage of Thai fintech, said Tribodi Arunanondchai, MoneyTable's co-founder and chief commercial officer.

The four investors are Chatchaval Jiaravanon, Chulapayap Srikarnchana, K2 Venture Capital (a joint venture of Singaporean private equity fund TIH Ltd and Loxley) and Indonesian venture capital firm Kejora.

"We have defined ourselves as a highway providing technology to serve financial institutions and collecting fees from them based on how they use our services," he said.

The company is further developing pilot projects with several banks and will test out some products in the regulatory sandbox of the Bank of Thailand.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand has filed a complaint with the Central Investigation Bureau to take legal action against PayAll Group Co Ltd, a mobile-based e-Money operator under the commercial name PayAll, alleging that it has run its business without a licence from the regulator.

Siritida Panomwon Na Ayudhya, assistant governor of the central bank's payment systems policy and financial technology group, said the firm's operations violated two laws regarding electronic transactions and payments.

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