Singapore and Australia ink cross-border fintech pact

Added 17th June 2016

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission have signed an agreement to facilitate the development of cross-border financial technology (fintech) businesses.

Singapore and Australia ink cross-border fintech pact

Fintech firms from the two countries that have been referred by their domestic regulator after meeting eligibility criteria will receive regulatory advice on the new market they want to enter.

The cooperation aims “to reduce regulatory uncertainty and time to market", according to a MAS statement.

“MAS is also looking forward to partnering with ASIC in joint innovation projects on the application of key technologies such as digital and mobile payments, blockchain and distributed ledgers, big data, and application programming interfaces,” said MAS fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty.

The Australian watchdog set up an innovation hub last year to assist local fintech firms -- for instance, those with robo advice, crowdsourced equity funding or blockchain business models -- navigate the regulatory framework.

Both parties have recently announced details of the "regulatory sandbox" proposal in the past two weeks.

The sandbox would allow fintech start-ups to operate businesses without having a full license.

Australia's plans to implement measures in 2017, which would implement a limited industry-wide licensing exemption to allow start-ups to test certain financial services for six months. Singapore has also released a consulation paper on the "sandbox" idea with a similar approach.

MAS also set up a fintech bridge with the UK last month, shortly after launching a fintech office in April.

Law firm Baker & McKenzie said the Lion City has been one of the most proactive countries in fintech development.

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