BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday July 18, 2019 – Financial technology firm Bitt Digital Inc. has become the first company to pass stress tests to meet the standard as a mover of digital money, under a regulatory model set up by the Central Bank of Barbados and the Financial Services Commission (FSC).
In November 2018, the two financial regulators announced that Bitt had entered the FSC’s regulatory sandbox for fintech products, services and solutions, to test the “provision of a digital wallet which enables users to send, receive, and store mMoney as well as process other transactions directly from their mobile device or PC”.
The Central Bank concluded its review of Bitt on July 5, 2019 and announced this week that it had determined that the company’s digital wallet service will be “subject to regulation under legislation that is currently being drafted”.
In a letter to Bitt, Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes stated: “On behalf of the panel, I can confirm that the Regulatory Review Panel (RRP) considers the type of business activity trialled by Bitt to be a candidate for regulation under legislation that is currently being drafted.”
“The RRP now deems the testing period to be complete,” he added.
The approval follows a review of Bitt’s operations during the eight-month-long Regulatory Sandbox Framework, the letter said.
Responding to the announcement, Bitt CEO, Senator Rawdon Adams said it was absolutely necessary that all financial services companies work with regulators and grant them full oversight of their operations.
“Technology is the ideal partner for the financial services sector to take on to boost productivity – and with it economic growth. The results of this Sandbox will provide great comfort to our potential partners and to consumers,” he said.
In October last year when the sandbox was launched, the Central Bank and the FSC explained the rationale for its formation:
“FinTech innovations can differ significantly from traditional financial services, so there can be some uncertainty on how they should be regulated. By allowing businesses to test their products and services within the controlled live environment of a Regulatory Sandbox, the CBB and FSC, as Barbados’ financial regulators, will be able to determine whether existing regulations are sufficient to protect consumers, or if new legislation is needed.”