Digital Sandbox

The Digital Sandbox offers General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant datasets in a secure environment, mentorship from industry experts and access to the FinTech Community to help enable experimentation and scaling for proof of concepts.

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Permanent Digital Sandbox Spring Expo

We were delighted to host our inaugural FCA Permanent Digital Sandbox Spring Expo, which took place on 25 April 2024 at the FCA London office. The Expo showcased 13 innovative projects from the Permanent Digital Sandbox service, spanning four key themes: financial inclusion, RegTech, data and enablement, and fraud detection.

Attendees had the opportunity to view live demonstrations of these innovative offerings. In addition to the project showcase, the Expo included panel discussions and networking sessions which allowed attendees to engage with representatives from the Digital Sandbox community, FCA team, incubators, accelerators, academics and the wider fintech ecosystem. 

The complete recording of the event can be viewed on the Digital Sandbox platform via this link, following registration.

Permanent Digital Sandbox

First piloted in 2020, the Digital Sandbox has shown that access to data and collaboration opportunities can stimulate beneficial innovation in the market. Almost 6 in 10 small and medium enterprise participants from the previous 2 pilots have made positive progress including receiving funding and partnership, launching products or receiving industry rewards and recognitions.

You can find out more about the Digital Sandbox pilots here.

Following from the evaluation of the two digital sandbox pilots, we launched the Permanent Digital Sandbox service on 1 August 2023. The Permanent Digital Sandbox is a service provided by the FCA Innovation Hub, designed to facilitate the development and launch of cutting-edge solutions within the financial services industry.

The service offers participants access to GDPR-compliant data and APIs to explore the art of the possible for solution building, valuable feedback from mentors to refine and optimise solutions and opportunities to become part of the sandbox community and broader FinTech ecosystem. 

A typical Permanent Digital Sandbox project runs from 3 to 12 months and we welcome applications from all sectors across the financial service industry.

Core features


Apply to the Permanent Digital Sandbox

If you are an innovative business that wishes to develop your solutions and gain support on data and community access, please follow the steps to apply to the Permanent Digital Sandbox:

Apply to the Permanent Digital Sandbox

How to access the Permanent Digital Sandbox


Eligibility criteria

Criteria Key question
In scope Will your product or service serve UK market and consumers? You don’t need to be UK-based however we do expect you to have certain degree of UK market exposure.
Genuine innovation Are you proposing innovation that’s significantly different to mainstream offerings? This could be something completely new, or it could be a new market or a new version of an existing model.
Consumer benefit How does your innovation deliver benefits to the UK consumers and markets? Have you identified the risks embedded within your innovation, and how are they mitigated?
Readiness Do you have resources and expertise to develop your solutions using the data provided? Do you have clearly defined testing outcomes, success metrics, timelines and go-to-market plans? Do you have a well-thought business plan and revenue model?
Need for support Can you articulate what data or support you need from the Digital Sandbox and how will you benefit from it?

Contribute to the Digital Sandbox community

In addition, we welcome applications from:

  • Data providers that wish to display their assets and get feedback
  • Industry experts, including but not limited to those from incumbents, scale-ups, incubators, investors and industry bodies that wish to share domain knowledge to support innovative businesses and link to the UK FinTech community
  • Academic institutions that wish to conduct research projects to solve novel problems

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