FinTech Lab is a tailored live environment, where firms can offer innovative financial and RegTech services without being immediately subject to the full set of regulatory requirements.

FinTech Lab allows:

• Firms licenced in foreign jurisdictions to test the regional markets with minimum resources and presence in AIFC.
• Start-up firms to provide activities regulated in the AIFC by gradually complying with regulatory requirements.
• Both incumbent and start-up firms to test new products and technologies in live environment with real clients.

For more information on eligibility criteria for FinTech Lab, please see the AIFC Financial Technology Rules.

Authorisation process:

To access application forms to FinTech Lab, please login to our Self-Service Portal.

Step 1:

Submit a short pre-application form to introduce your project. Make sure that the contact details in your pre-application are correct. At this point, on the Self-Service Portal you will be asked to provide a general overview of your concept/proposal, including a description of your proposed activity or activities to be tested. You will be also asked about your target group of people that you plan to provide your services to, such as professional or retail clients/accredited or retail investors. The questionnaire will also ask you a series of questions regarding any of your prior experiences/background in testing FinTech activities in other jurisdictions. This information is important to both the applicant and AFSA to make informed decisions regarding any future interactions. AFSA FinTech Lab team will assign a case officer for your application and get in touch with you.

Step 2: 

If your pre-application was approved, please submit a full application form via the Self-Service Portal within two months since receiving a notification informing you of your pre-application’s success. Please note that AFSA may consider your application withdrawn if you do not submit the full application within the specified deadline. If you need more time to fill and submit the form, please notify us in advance stating the reasons and how much time is needed. Make sure that all required information is included, and all supportive documents are attached to your application. 

At this stage you will need to be prepared to answer every question in the application and attach the documents that may be relevant to support your answer. If a question does not apply to your business, then please answer 'Not applicable' and explain why. If you leave any question blank without telling the AFSA why, we will treat the pre-application/application form as incomplete. This will increase the time to assess your pre-application/application form.

When completing the application, you will be asked to provide a business overview in a more detailed way by describing how you plan to operate the business. This is done to assess the scope of the authorisation it will need and evaluate the adequacy of the applicant’s resources and therefore their suitability to test and/or develop the proposed FinTech activities in the FinTech Lab.

Another important step to consider is that the applicant should be able to demonstrate clear business process flow-charts, such as interactions with clients and all other various counterparts, the way the applicant’s transactions will be executed, interconnections of all legal entities and other questions. To help you guide throughout this process you may watch this video. Questions of the application will also focus on the applicant’s available funds and one-year financial projections; parameters of the proposed testing (retail or professional clients/retail or accredited investor); relevant IT systems in place.

The applicant will also be asked to provide information supporting their awareness of and readiness to execute legal and regulatory compliance. In this way, AFSA gets assurance that the applicant works within legal and regulatory compliance. Based on this information later, AFSA will collaborate with the applicant to ensure that appropriate consumer protection safeguards are built into the applicant’s FinTech activities. A fit and proper questionnaire is also an integral part of this section.

Please remember that if you are struggling with completing this application, consider taking professional legal advice.

Step 3: 

AFSA will assess your proposal for admission to the FinTech Lab. If your application is accepted, AFSA jointly with you will elaborate on regulatory requirements and conditions for carrying on FinTech Activities in the FinTech Lab.

Step 4: 

Once all pre-conditions are met authorisation is granted.

If you have any questions about the FinTech Lab, email [email protected] or call +7 (717) 264 73 72. Our FinTech Lab team will be glad to assist you.