Fintech businesses to benefit from licensing exemptions

23 Dec 2016

The Australian Government has introduced a ‘regulatory sandbox’ to provide companies in the financial services sector with flexibility to test new financial technology (fintech) products.

The Australian Security & Investments Commission (ASIC) says fintech companies can take advantage of ‘class waivers’ that let eligible businesses test products without holding an Australian financial services or credit licence.

In an ASIC media release, ASIC Commissioner John Price says the fintech licensing exemption is unique.

‘No other major jurisdiction has implemented a class waiver which allows eligible businesses to notify the regulator and then commence testing without an individual application process,’ he says.

‘Fintech and startup businesses now have more pathways than ever to begin testing the viability of innovative financial services and credit services consumers, before incurring many of the regulatory costs normally associated with running their business.’

In a recent speech, ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft stated that widespread adoption and use of digital finance could increase the GDP of all emerging economies by 6 per cent, or a total of $3.7 trillion, by 2025.

‘This is the equivalent of adding to the world an economy the size of Germany, or one that’s larger than all the economies of Africa,’ he says. ‘This additional GDP could create up to 95 million new jobs across all sectors of the economy.’

Visit the ASIC website to read more about the fintech licensing exemption.