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Finding solutions in the sandbox

September 07, 2020

Corin robertson

Financial inclusion is a topic of great importance in Mexico, so we need innovative solutions so that more Mexican men and women join the financial system. Did you know, for example, that two-thirds of the population in this country do not have bank accounts? But, most of them have cell phones, so there is a lot of potential for new technology that gives them access to financing. And, in the wake of the health crisis, this challenge is even more urgent.

This past Thursday, September 3, in collaboration with the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) we carried out the closing of the Sandbox Challenge. This initiative had the objective of promoting competitiveness and financial inclusion through creative ventures, based on financial technologies or FinTechs.

For those unfamiliar with the language of financial services, the concept sandbox (sandbox) could cause curiosity: What does a place where children play have to do with the complex world of finance? He sandbox refers to a legislative space where FinTechs are exempted from certain regulatory requirements that govern common financial institutions. This helps them test their novel business models without introducing risks to the financial system, creating a temporary regulatory space that facilitates innovation and supports the creation of a competitive market.

The call for the Sandbox Challenge It was launched in February and exceeded our expectations, as we received 166 company registrations. After a rigorous process, we selected six finalists (four Mexican companies, one Chilean and one British), who presented their proposals to various actors in the financial sector and to a jury.

Without a doubt, the task assigned was not easy, since all the proposals were disruptive and innovative. Yvi seeks to encourage the investment of savings with gamification technologies; Oikos aims to benefit savers with more favorable rates through the crowdsaving; QuantumX aims to automate the debt issuance process with technologies such as Blockchain. The finalists also included Acra Financiera, which wants to make the fiduciary sector more automated and accessible; Clinch, which seeks to offer companies that handle currencies a fair exchange rate through the connection of bank accounts with dollars and pesos, and Tokenise, which aims to facilitate international transactions in the stock market.

The initiatives presented covered a wide range of sectors, with great potential to promote financial inclusion, whether for individuals or MSMEs. In the end, the jury selected Clinch as the first place in the call, but I am pleased to know that the six finalists will receive advice from our allies and sponsors.

In addition, the proposal presented by InvierteMas obtained a special mention, for its focus on financial inclusion and gender equity, being an initiative that helps women obtain loans with favorable rates.

The enthusiasm of the participants, and the international scope of the call, make clear both the vitality of the Mexican FinTech community, as well as the commercial opportunities present in the financial market.

I am proud that, through our Prosperity Fund, we can collaborate with the CNBV, from the exchange of experiences in the design of the legislative framework, to the celebration of the Sandbox Challenge. I am hopeful that this “sandbox” will be a catalyst for businesses paving the way to an inclusive financial world.

I look forward to your comments at [email protected]
and through Twitter: @UKinMexico and @CorinRobertson

* Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Mexico