The Rise of Digital Sandboxes: A game-changer in policy making and financial technology 

The Rise of Digital Sandboxes: A game-changer in policy making and financial technology 
Picture of Jonathan Middleton

Jonathan Middleton

Director, Financial Services

Policy making can be hard. As someone who used to be a civil servant, I know this well. This is particularly true when it comes to policy about technology, where the technology and the context can change in an instant. Yet digital policy is also where some of the biggest and most important questions lie globally – not only because digital policy is a topic in its own right, but because many of the tools for other policy areas are digital too. We can see this in the range of digital policy papers being published across the world. A couple of big themes include:
  • Online Harms
  • Central Bank Digital Currencies
  • AI and AI Ethics
  • Digital Identity
  • Open Banking & Smart Data
  • Fraud
  • Crypto currency
  • Financial Market Infrastructure
We’re lucky in the UK that many ways that many of our public sector organisations are global leaders in digital policy making. I’m sure we don’t always get things 100% right, but the UK has led the way in developing innovative tools to work on digital policy. One of the tools we lead globally are digital sandboxes. The FCA was an early pioneer in this with the FCA Digital Sandbox, an example being looked at around the world. The UK Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has also introduced the UK’s Digital Identity Sandbox. So what is a digital sandbox and why is it the policy making tool of the future?

What’s in a digital policy sandbox?

Sandboxes – Technical sandbox environments provide tools to test policy and gain instant technical feedback, scan and assess new technologies and promote innovation.

Marketplace – The tech marketplace is compatible with thousands of integrated fintechs; a one stop solution to discover and evaluate new technology and engage technology stakeholders in one place.

Datasets – Providing data (including synthetic data) drives responsible innovation and supports collaboration new solutions to policy challenges.

Collaboration tools – Bring together multiple policy makers across governments and regulators, and work together on cross-cutting policy issues. Also collaborate with the private sector on one platform to run proof-of-concepts (PoCs).

Why are Digital Sandboxes the policy making tool of the future?

Digital Sandboxes bring together many of the tools that help where digital policy making is hard. It has integrated technology so solutions can be assessed and understood. It offers data, so that regulators can encourage responsible innovation, enable benchmarking (e.g. in AI) and help stakeholders propose solutions to policy outcomes. It has sandbox environments so that solutions can be tested, built and assessed – and policy outcomes tested in real time. As a policy maker, if you wanted to see the impact of a policy, how stakeholders would build solutions to enable policy outcomes, or whether a particular data/technical standard would really work – Digital Sandboxes are for you.
To learn more about how financial institutions leverage Digital Sandbox for their digital transformation journey and discover how it can benefit you, Request a Demo!

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