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Malaysia’s fintech regulatory sandbox is more popular than Australia’s

Why have a sandbox if no-one uses it?

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Australia's fintech sandbox is less popular than Malaysia's, despite the huge difference in size of each country's financial service industries.

Despite the heroes welcome Australia’s regulatory sandbox received when it launched six months ago only one fintech company has entered it. 

The sandbox, a brainchild of financial services regulator ASIC, allows fintechs to sell their products without having to obtain a financial services licence. By granting licensing exemptions, it was hoped, fintechs would be able to test new ideas and compete more easily with large financial institutions.

News of Australia’s unused sandbox comes at the same time as news that Malaysia’s sandbox — also six months old and similarly structured — has four entrants. 

Malaysia’s economy is one-fifth the size of Australia’s and its financial services sector lives in the shadow of neighbouring Singapore.

In a media release last week, ASIC suggested that its sandbox’s unpopularity owes to its release in the run up to Christmas holidays. 

The government has pledged to widen the eligibility criteria for companies wishing to use the sandbox, which may affect its popularity. 

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