Sofia Sandbox: Bulgaria experiments with FinTech Innovation

Sofia Sandbox

Bulgaria will implement a Sofia Sandbox. This regards a framework, where small-scale innovations can be tested. The measure is expected to affect local digital businesses.

On the end of February, Bulgaria announced a RegTech Sandbox’s creation. The instrument would be tried in the capital, Sofia. This city, over the last years, has experienced a fast technological development.

A sandbox is a specific regulatory framework. It is a testing ground for new business models, which aren’t protected by regulations yet. During the process, financial authorities can monitor developments closely.

The framework is a win-win situation. For business owners, they can real-world test their models. For regulators, fluid legislation can be developed. They can experiment with different frameworks, overseeing adaptation. This makes it very adequate for FinTech.

Sofia Sandbox comes in a particular moment. Over the last years, IT has developed exponentially in Eastern Europe. The market provides two key components: good tech skills; and cheap labour. Inside the region, Bulgaria is becoming an important centre. In 2018, its ICT sector saw a 45% year-on-year growth.

Nowadays, several Bulgarian companies are becoming international players. Examples are F27, Software Group or Scale Focus. Evrotrust, working with e-signatures, already exports internationally. The country now offers services in areas like end-to-end digitalization, SAP solutions, or mobile factoring.

The sandbox’s importance

According to experts, the framework’s implementation is adequate. Bulgarian digital exports are booming. Yet, internal usage of such services is remarkably low. Indeed, the country ranks as the EU’s lowest in digital performance. Ideally, the sandbox will fill this void.

The goal’s not only to support local digital businesses. Increased digital offer would benefit Bulgarians. Such promotes more efficiency, in everyday life, and business. Amongst other issues, experts chose fintech for a reason. The financial world is known for heavy regulation. Thus, no other area would benefit so much from the sandbox.

Want to know more? Check here. You can also read about EU financial instruments here.

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