ASIC to allow fintech startups to test services without a license


ASIC has today released class waivers to allow eligible financial technology (fintech) businesses to test certain specified services without holding an Australian financial services or credit licence.

John Price, ASIC

ASIC Commissioner John Price said:

ASIC’s ‘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.

ASIC has also released Regulatory Guide 257 Testing fintech products and services without holding an AFS or credit licence, which contains information about Australia’s ‘regulatory sandbox’ framework.

That framework is comprised of:

  • existing flexibility in the regulatory framework or exemptions already provided by the law or ASIC which mean that a licence is not required. Examples include existing ASIC relief for non-cash payment products like stored value cards and regulations meaning that a licence is often not required for certain foreign exchange services;
  • ASIC’s fintech licensing exemption provided under ASIC Corporations (Concept Validation Licensing Exemption) Instrument 2016/1175 and ASIC Credit (Concept Validation Licensing Exemption) Instrument 2016/1176
  • tailored, individual licensing exemptions from ASIC to facilitate product or service testing – individual exemptions of this nature are similar to the ‘regulatory sandbox’ frameworks established by financial services regulators in other jurisdictions.

John Price added:

Fintech and start-up 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.

For the complete announcement, click here.

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ASIC to allow fintech startups to test services without a license

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