The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has approved the launch of a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending Platform under the first cohort of the Regulatory Sandbox to support and encourage the Fintech revolution in the country.
P2P lending is an innovative alternative digital platform that connects borrowers with individual lenders to meet the borrowers’ loan requirements. It facilitates borrowers in giving short-term loans that enable SMEs to scale up their business and eventually qualifies them to take bigger bank loans.
This current approval for the testing and experimentation of a P2P Lending Platform is also attributed to the development of an ecosystem for SME financing to achieve higher growth prospects and to create new employment and business opportunities.
During the testing and experimentation stage, the P2P Lending Platform will operate within pre-defined parameters and will be subject to certain terms and conditions. Furthermore, the selection of each lender/borrower on the platform will be done according to specific eligibility criteria.
These terms and conditions will address the inherent risks involved in the operation of such a platform in the absence of a regulatory framework. However, they will be reconsidered alongside the results of the experimentation stage of the subject P2P Lending Platform. This will help the SECP devise the much-needed enabling regulatory framework.
The SECP regulatory sandbox is the framework to accommodate the provision of financial services that leverage new technologies. It also allows FinTech firms to test their services and facilitates the adoption of new technology in a live environment within a limited, well-defined scope.