Regulatory sandbox

Australia’s regulatory sandbox framework is comprised of three broad options for testing a new product or service without a licence. The information on this page is designed to help you determine whether your business may be able to rely on the fintech licensing exemption and how to go about advising us on this. It also provides examples of other relief that ASIC provides outside of this framework.

ASIC has released a world-first class waiver to allow eligible fintech businesses to test certain specified services for up to 12 months without an Australian financial services or credit licence.

Australia’s regulatory sandbox framework is comprised of three broad options for testing a new product or service without a licence. Those options are:

  • relying on existing statutory exemptions or flexibility in the law – such as by acting on behalf of an existing licensee;
  • relying on ASIC’s ‘fintech licensing exemption’ for the testing of certain specified products and services; and
  • for other services, relying on individual relief from ASIC.

More information about each of these options is available in RG 257.

Other relief from the law

In addition to the fintech licensing exemption, ASIC has existing relief powers in certain areas that you may wish to consider.

Specifically, ASIC has powers to:

  1. provide exemptions from the licensing requirements for products or services (or classes of products or services); and
  2. modify some of the laws we administer.

Our policy on granting relief is set out in RG 51, with the general requirements for application under RG 51.25-51.26.

Examples areas of relief provided from the requirement to hold a licence

  1. Services in relation to ‘low value’ non-cash payment products, where the maximum balance on any one product is $1,000 and the maximum aggregate balance on all facilities in the class is $10 million. See RG 185 and ASIC Corporations (Non-cash Payment Facilities) Instrument 2016/211
  2. Some services in relation to mortgage offset accounts. See Class Order [CO 03/1048] Mortgage offset accounts
  3. The provision of generic financial calculators. See Section D of Regulatory Guide 167 Licensing: Discretionary powers (RG 167) and ASIC Corporations (Generic Calculators) Instrument 2016/207
  4. The use of innovative forms of disclosure and, where providers are concerned that there are remaining regulatory barriers, we are open to granting individual relief to facilitate the use of these kinds of disclosure where they are consistent with ASIC’s Good Disclosure Principles. See Section B (RG 221.64-65) of Regulatory Guide 221: Facilitating digital financial services disclosures (RG 221)

In the case of most marketplace lending business models involving retail investors we have granted licenses to, we have provided relief from some requirements of the law.

See our tailored guidance for marketplace lenders.

To help determine the most appropriate option for your business contact the Innovation Hub team.

Eligibility for fintech licensing exemption

The fintech licensing exemption applies to specified products or services. The eligibility criteria are explained in this infographic, along with some of the main conditions that apply.

More information on eligibility and the conditions that apply is available in Sections C and D of RG 257.

If your business is eligible to rely on the exemption, you must notify ASIC before you begin to test. Once the notification process is complete, the business is legally entitled to rely on the relief for 12 months, so long as it follows the conditions that apply.

Notifying ASIC

If you are eligible for the fintech licensing exemption, you must send ASIC written notice that you intend to test under the exemption to You must also provide ASIC with some information about your business.

Once the notification process is complete, the business is legally entitled to rely on the relief for 12 months, so long as it follows the conditions that apply.

Other laws

The regulatory sandbox framework deals with laws under ASIC's administration. This means the 'fintech licensing exemption' does not provide exemptions from other laws. For example, depending on your business model you will need to check whether you need to comply with the anti-money laundering legislation administered by AUSTRAC or the tax agent services legislation administered by the Tax Practitioners Board.

Related links

Subscribe for updates

Innovation Hub Asic Website Rhn Icons Sunscribe PurpleTo subscribe for updates email


Innovation Hub Asic Website Rhn Icons Latest News Purple

CFTC and ASIC sign FinTech Cooperation Arrangement

5 October 2018

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the ASIC have signed an arrangement to cooperate and support innovation through each other’s financial technology initiatives – CFTC’s LabCFTC and ASIC’s Innovation Hub.

Read the media release

Luxembourg and Australia enter agreement on fintech and regtech

4 October 2018

The Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier and ASIC have signed a Cooperation Agreement which provides a framework for cooperation to understand financial innovation in each jurisdiction.

Read the media release

More news


Innovation Hub Asic Website Rhn 
Icons Events Purple

Helping Australian fintech and regtech startups navigate the regulatory framework

8 November 2018

Learn about the work ASIC is doing to support innovation, and the resources and services ASIC has available for innovative fintech businesses.

Also gain an insight on ASIC's approach to regulatory technology plans for new funding announced this August.

Find out more


Innovation Hub Asic Website Rhn Icons Podcast Purple

Crowd-sourced funding

ASIC Commissioner John Price joins the podcast to discuss recent law reform around crowd-sourced funding and ASIC's role in administering the new legislation.

Listen now or download for later

Last updated: 23/08/2018 05:46