Testing environment for innovative businesses to test novel ideas in Ontario and beyond

Testing makes it easier for businesses to innovate by providing a responsive, supervised environment for them to test their product, service, or application with customers. In a testing environment, businesses can explore and develop their ready-to-launch solutions in a risk appropriate and cost-effective manner, without being subjected to full regulatory requirements.

Businesses are typically supported by staff from participating regulators, while regulators gain vital insights into how to modernize regulation for economic growth.

The Innovation Office will also endeavor to work with other regulators to provide multiple testing options to businesses, depending on their needs.

Testing in Ontario

Guided by our charter, the Innovation Office is developing a new support program designed to provide businesses with a controlled testing environment for Ontario’s capital markets. This environment will use features such as standardized testing parameters, restricted approvals, exemptive relief, blanket waivers, and periodic and themed cohorts to streamline testing. We look forward to announcing more soon.

Invitation to provide experience and views on the use of regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions to satisfy Know-Your Product (KYP), Know-Your-Client (KYC), and suitability obligations

We recognize the significant work that many registrants are undertaking to comply with the Client Focused Reforms (CFRs) by June 30, 2021 and December 31, 2021. Innovative RegTech solutions may be able to help registrants comply.

The use of technology and automation with capital raising, investor onboarding, and investment processes has provided a more streamlined experience for businesses, investors, and the dealers and advisers gatekeeping these areas.

Businesses can raise capital more efficiently to a wider investor group, individual investors may end up with improved outcomes that meet their specific investment needs, and regulated firms benefit from improved compliance and organizational productivity and efficiency.

As regulatory requirements change, technology evolves and access to data increases, we seek to survey both registrants and solution providers, as well as individual investors, to understand current experiences and views to inform modernizing regulation as well as design a potential test theme for a new regulatory testing environment.

Testing internationally

Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) Cross-Border Testing is a workstream of the GFIN, an international network of financial regulators and other organizations that work together to help innovative firms interact with regulators more efficiently. Cross-Border Testing allows firms to test across more than one jurisdiction with participating regulators from five continents.

We have been a GFIN participant since it was formally launched in January 2019 and we actively participate in Cross-Border Testing.

Applications to the GFIN for Cross-Border Testing are currently closed, but interested firms from Ontario, Canada or abroad are invited to connect with us.

The OSC has signed agreements with certain international financial regulators to make it easier for Ontario-based innovators to attract and do business with investors around the globe. To learn more, see who we work with or connect with us.

Source: OSC