Mo’ Fintech, Mo’ sandboxes
The recent news that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is broadening the scope of the regulatory ‘sandbox’ for fintechs has been welcomed by many in the industry, myself included.
The regulatory sandbox provides a safe space for up-and-coming fintechs to roll up their sleeves and pilot their products and services with up to 100 customers per year.
Instead of having to go through a lengthy and expensive licensing process, the sandbox enables fintechs that provide certain products, such as payments backed by banks, digital currency wallets and home contents insurance, to test their offering before embarking on the lengthy compliance and licencing process.
The sandbox concept is gaining traction in fintech hubs around the world as each region competes to attract innovative companies by providing the most fintech friendly environment. The UK Financial Conduct Authority launched its sandbox pilot with 24 startups in mid-2016.
This can only be a good thing. In order for Australia to actually have an ongoing and growing ecosystem, we need more collaboration from the Government. And by that, I mean more than just saying the word “Innovation” a few times a year.