The fourth call for the financial sandbox starts this week

The Treasury could review the cohort call system in the future


The General Secretariat of the Treasury and International Financing will open this week the deadline for promoters of innovative financial projects to request their participation in the fourth call for financial sandbox.

Requests for projects to access the controlled test space may be registered between September 1 and October 13, 2022 through the electronic headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Treasury, a body dependent on the Secretary of State for Economy and Support to the Company, attached to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation.

For this, it is necessary that the projects meet three fundamental requirements: provide a technology-based innovation applicable to the financial system, be sufficiently advanced and provide added value.

The sandbox is a controlled testing space that allows innovative products, services and business models to be tested in full compliance with the legal and supervisory framework. Through it, project promoters can test their innovative solutions in a real market environment under the supervision of financial supervisors and guaranteeing maximum protection for the user of financial services.

During the year 2021, the first year of operation of the sandbox, its first two calls were carried out, in which 79 applications were received, of which 22 received a favorable prior evaluation and 16 finally signed the protocol and began the period of tests. In the third call, three projects received a favorable prior evaluation.

The projects of the first and second calls will conclude the testing period throughout 2022 and, after evaluating their results, the supervisors will issue a report of conclusions, which will allow the analysis of possible regulatory improvements aimed at promoting the safe development of innovation within the financial sector.

For the moment, the General Secretariat of the Treasury and International Financing has included in the first annual report prepared on the sandbox, consulted by Europa Press, a series of proposals to optimize the operation and enhance the results of the test space.

Some of the measures to be studied, which have not been extracted from the testing phase of the projects, given that it is still to be concluded, would be the creation of a network of alumni of the projects admitted to the sandbox that allows those interested in presenting projects contact those promoters who have successfully undertaken the testing period, favoring the exchange of information and collaboration.

Another proposal would consist of promoting innovation ‘hubs’ aimed at projects in the early stages of their life cycle. This tool would be complementary to the sandbox and the Treasury considers that it would affect both the number of projects submitted to the sandbox and their degree of maturity when they request to start a testing phase in the sandbox.

Finally, in order to continue optimizing the operation of the sandbox, the report refers to the possible review of the cohort call system, which currently only allows projects to be submitted in two time windows per year, evaluating all the projects at the same time.

“A possible way to optimize the operation of the sandbox would be to move to an open system in which projects can be submitted at any time of the year and under which each project would follow an independent procedure. In this sense, it is proposed to start a line of work to study this and other proposals in greater depth”, indicates the Treasury in its report.

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