DFSA moves ITL program to open window format to enable innovation
The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) are accepting applications from local and international firms to join its Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) Programme. ITL is a licensed regulatory sandbox which enables approved firms to test new and innovative financial products, services, and business models in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Starting this month, the DFSA will move to an open window format instead of a cohort.
In a statement, DFSA clarified that the aim of the ITL programme is to give firms the opportunity to test new technology, ideas and business models in a controlled regulatory environment. “We are always looking for ways to improve the programme. For a number of years, we have required firms to apply to join the ITL programme at particular points in the year to manage the flow of work we receive, but this has caused a number of challenges around firms meeting our deadlines and disappointment for those who get in touch with us just after a cohort has closed. Therefore, we are now moving to an open window format which will allow applicants to apply to the ITL programme when they are ready.”
Justin Baldacchino, Managing Director, Supervision at the DFSA added, “Innovation is necessary to enable companies to foster growth and discover new opportunities with an ever-changing consumer landscape. The ITL programme sits at the forefront of DFSA’s innovation agenda and serves as a platform to test new models that have the potential to emerge as successful ventures contributing to the financial services sector within the DIFC and Dubai. The change in the format of the application process from a cohort process to an open application window is testimony to DFSA’s commitment to support innovation in the DIFC and pave the way for the future of finance at the Centre.”
The ITL programme reflects the DFSA’s continued commitment to new and emerging technologies in the DIFC. Since 2017, a total of 130 companies have applied to enter the programme out of which 67 applicants have been accepted. Firms emerging from the ITL programme include those providing robot-advisory and wealth management services; crowdfunding firms, facilitating investment into SME companies and real estate; and money services firms offering a variety of payment solutions for both businesses and retail customers.