The DFSA and Financial Technology

The DFSA recognises the importance of technology to support or enable innovative financial services business models. Financial Technology, or FinTech, has the ability to enhance and improve the efficiency of markets and provide better services and solutions to consumers.

The DFSA recognises that regulation has the potential to be both a facilitator and an impediment to the development of FinTech. It is important that activities that do not need to be regulated should not be regulated, but it is equally important that, at the appropriate point in the development of a FinTech proposition, suitable regulation is applied.

In early 2017, the DFSA published two consultation papers on Crowdfunding, SME Financing Through Lending and SME Financing Through Investing. These outlined the DFSA’s measures to support the sustainable development of Crowdfunding within the DIFC.

Those consultation papers were the first in a series of papers setting out the DFSA’s approach to FinTech. The next in the series of consultations outlines how the DFSA will support businesses that want to develop and test FinTech business propositions in the DIFC, Testing FinTech Innovations in the DIFC , by issuing a Financial Services Licence, referred to by the DFSA as an Innovation Testing Licence. Together with this limited Licence the DFSA will apply an appropriate combination of DFSA Rules to ensure that the testing of the business proposition, service or product is appropriately controlled.

Interested firms should contact the DFSA at to discuss these proposals in more detail.

DFSA Publications

  • Consultation Paper 109 Crowdfunding: SME Financing Through Lending – click here
  • Consultation Paper 111 Crowdfunding: SME Financing Through Investing – click here
  • Consultation Paper 112 FinTech: Testing FinTech Innovations in the DIFC - click here

DIFC and UAE Initiatives