Practical support and informal assistance
ASIC’s Innovation Hub provides practical support to startups and scaleups as they navigate Australia’s financial regulatory system. We provide informal assistance to financial technology (fintech) businesses on their regulatory obligations, Australia’s overarching regulatory framework and, as appropriate, options relating to relief powers such as the Commonwealth Government’s Enhanced regulatory sandbox.
- Find out more about ASIC and fintech.
Innovation and leadership
As technology rapidly reshapes global financial markets, services and their regulation, ASIC’s strategic priority is promoting regulatory technology (regtech) adoption. We do this in two ways – by engaging with the regtech industry on policy and perspectives, and promoting Australia as a world-leading developer and adopter of regtech.
- Read more about ASIC and regtech.
- Attend our upcoming events.
- Learn about the latest news and announcements.
1. What is the Innovation Hub?
ASIC’s Innovation Hub is an initiative for fintech businesses that are developing innovative financial products or services. Through the Innovation Hub, eligible fintech startup businesses can receive informal assistance to help them navigate Australia’s regulatory system.
ASIC is committed to promoting innovation without compromising the fundamental principles of financial services regulation or the licensing process as reflected in ASIC’s strategic objectives.
ASIC is implementing its Innovation Hub initiatives by:
- Facilitating ASIC licensing for innovative fintech business models that meet our eligibility criteria.
- Engaging with the fintech community to consult on fintech and regulatory issues. This includes crowd-sourced equity funding, robo-advice and other matters and the nexus of finance, technology and regulation.
- Engaging with an external industry advisory group, the Digital Finance Advisory Panel (DFAP), which helps inform how we focus our efforts in this area.
2. What assistance can this provide me?
ASIC's Innovation Hub helps fintech startups and scaleups navigate Australia’s regulatory framework.
If you meet certain eligibility criteria, you can receive informal guidance on:
- Your obligations under the financial services regulatory framework.
- How we administer this framework (e.g. how to obtain an Australian financial services licence).
- Our thoughts on regulatory issues you should consider as you set up your business.
ASIC does not provide legal advice or financial assistance.
3. What kinds of businesses can use these services?
We are open to discussing any type of fintech startup or scaleup, provided the business meets certain criteria.
A business will be more likely to receive support through the Innovation Hub if it:
- is a financial technology (fintech) business;
- has not been trading under a licence from ASIC for more than 12 months;
- offers a potentially groundbreaking innovation; and,
- offers an innovation that provides a potentially better outcome for investors and consumers.
4. What does ASIC expect me to do before it offers me assistance?
If you believe your business meets the eligibility criteria and you are thinking about making an application for assistance from the Innovation Hub, please identify the regulatory obligations that might apply to your business.
Read the regulatory guidance available on the ASIC website and analyse your business model against the requirements described in relevant guides.
This will help you specify the type of assistance you are requesting from ASIC in the application request form.
5. How much business information should I provide?
You are encouraged to provide as much technical detail about your business as you can. Please explain exactly how the product/service works, including each step involved in users obtaining the product/service, and the role your business plays in providing it.
6. Will the information be kept confidential?
Yes. The law requires ASIC to take reasonable measures to prevent unauthorised use and disclosure of information we receive in confidence in connection with our statutory functions.
More information about this topic is available in Regulatory Guide 103 Confidentiality and release of information.
7. Can I publicly refer to assistance provided through the Innovation Hub?
ASIC does not object to you mentioning that we have provided informal assistance to you through the Innovation Hub. However, you should not create an impression (either explicitly or implicitly) that your business or services are in any way endorsed or approved by ASIC.
Also, you must not reproduce ASIC’s logo without our express written approval.
8. Can ASIC give me legal advice?
No, ASIC cannot give legal advice. However, ASIC can provide you with informal assistance. Help we can provide includes:
- providing an ASIC contact for your business during the pre-licence application, the licensing application phase and first year of being licensed;
- guidance and assistance during the pre-licence application phase, including meeting with senior staff to discuss the licence application process and any regulatory issues that the business has identified; and,
- guidance and assistance during your business’s first year of being licensed if required, for example if an application for a licence variation is being considered.
Resources are available on ASIC’s website to help you understand how ASIC interprets the laws it administers, and determine how they may apply to your startup.
9. What is the ‘business angel introductory service’ class order?
ASIC has a legal waiver (Class Order [CO 02/273] Business introduction or matching services) that modifies the Corporations Act 2001 to facilitate what is generally known as a ‘business angels introductory service’. It allows a business, without holding an AFS licence, to connect potential investors with companies looking to raise funds provided certain conditions are met.
If your business intends to do more than just the introduction of potential investors to these companies, you may still need to hold an AFS licence.
10. What is the Digital Finance Advisory Panel?
ASIC established the Digital Finance Advisory Panel (DFAP) to help inform how we focus our efforts and collaborate with the fintech sector.
DFAP does not provide informal assistance or regulatory guidance to businesses on behalf of ASIC.
Members of DFAP are drawn from a cross-section of the fintech community and have backgrounds in academia and the private sector. DFAP meets quarterly to discuss developments relating to fintech and regtech. It provides advice and feedback to ASIC on the opportunities, developments and emerging risks for fintech startups and ASIC’s engagement with those businesses through the Innovation Hub.