The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has started accepting applications from local and international firms interested in joining its Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) Programme from July 15, 2022.

Launched in 2017, the 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).

Previously, the DFSA was accepting applications via the cohort process. Starting this month, the DFSA will move to an open window format where interested firms may apply as soon as they are ready to test their product. Firms must provide a clear explanation of their planned business model and the proposed innovative product or service.

Innovation necessary

Justin Baldacchino, Managing Director, Supervision at the DFSA said: “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 in the Centre.”

The ITL programme reflects the DFSA’s continued commitment to new and emerging technologies in the DIFC. Since its inception in 2017, a total of 130 companies have applied to enter the programme and 67 applicants have been accepted into the programme.

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