The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced it will be testing pensions and payroll platforms in the fourth round of its regulatory sandbox.
The regulatory sandbox allows firms to test innovative products, services or business models in a live market environment, while ensuring that appropriate protections are in place.
It is part of Innovate, an initiative kicked off in 2014 to promote competition in the interest of consumers. Since its inception Innovate has had over 1200 applications and has supported more than 500 firms.
The FCA will be testing Salary Finance, a payroll-linked lending platform which provides consumers with access to their earned income by the day or week.
It enables employees to access their earned income more frequently and better manage their budget, address unexpected needs or avoid late payment fees of existing commitments.
It will also be testing Zippen, a service that enables individuals to transfer and consolidate (hence ‘zip’) their pensions (‘zip-pen’) all in one place, delivering convenience, financial advantage or both.
The sandbox is open to authorised firms, unauthorised firms that require authorisation and technology businesses.
It offers tools such as restricted authorisation, individual guidance, informal steers, waivers and no enforcement action letters.
The regulator will oversee tests using a customised regulatory environment for each test – including safeguards for consumers.
The FCA published the list of latest companies to be tested this week (July 3), so to keep up to date on their progress see here.