Compliance Alert: Applications for DFSA’s Innovation Testing Licence 2021 Winter Cohort now open!!!
The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is now accepting applications from local and international firms wishing to enroll on the Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) Winter Cohort Programme 2021.
Applicants are invited to begin the first stage of the process by completing an online ITL cohort application by 30th November 2020.
What is the ITL?
The ITL is a licensed-sandbox, which launched in 2017. It enables innovative FinTech firms to test new and innovative financial products, services, and business concepts in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) for a period of up to 12 months. The testing is conducted within a restricted regulatory environment.
The programme aims to provide a gateway for innovative financial services market participants whilst maintaining regulatory objectives and supervisory understanding.
Since the sandbox launched, DFSA has received applications from 82 companies, 36 of which have been accepted on to the programme.
Who is eligible?
Interested applicants must show that their firm is:
- Using innovative technology
- Offering financial service
- Ready to start live testing
- Intending to roll out on a broader scale in or from the DIFC
What are the key benefits?
- Reduced fees
- Regulatory flexibility
- Access to the regulator
- Restricted number of clients
- Restricted number and value of transactions
When will successful applicants be announced?
The DFSA aims to provide a decision within two weeks of the application being submitted.
Successful applicants are then required to submit a full ITL application for the second stage of the process.
Overall Process for authorisation
How we can help?
We are a team of highly skilled and qualified professionals. Our senior compliance advisory team has leveraged their practical knowledge and experience in advising FinTech start-ups from a regulatory compliance standpoint.
We have experience in assisting a wide range of FinTech firms with their regulatory application and authorisation process including but not limited to money services businesses, virtual assets (cryptocurrency) exchanges and custodians, blockchain-based businesses, peer to peer crowdfunding platforms and other innovative fintech platforms.
We can assist ITL applicants in each phase of the DFSA ITL Process, including:
- the evaluation of the regulatory framework;
- completion of the detailed regulatory test plan and exit plan;
- Project management and liaison with the regulator;
- Preparing compliance and AML manuals; as well as
- Act as the appointed Compliance Officer and fulfilling any other regulatory requirements.
Once the ITL licensed firm has completed the testing period and wishes to upgrade to a full unrestricted license, we can also provide the following services in relation to the authorization of the regulated entity:
- Project management including various meetings with client, regulators and stakeholders;
- Analysis of the business model and providing compliance advice on the applicable regulatory framework and application process;
- Assist in preparing an application for full authorization, Regulatory Business Plan, process flow charts, and financial projections;
- Assist in drafting policies and procedures aligned with the relevant regulatory obligations and the business operations;
- Liaise with appointed counsel and technical service providers in finalising legal documentation and standard operating procedures; and
- Assist in preparation for the demo and walkthroughs on various elements of the website/application.
We can also provide continued support with our advisory and outsourcing arrangements.
Partner & Head – Regulatory & Compliance Services
Senior Manager – Regulatory & Compliance Services