On a partnership spree, Australia has now sealed a deal with one of the most ardent supporters of Islamic fintech, opening the pathway for Malaysian and Australian entities to be involved in cross-border projects.
Just as it has done with its colleagues in Hong Kong and Japan recently, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has now partnered with Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) allowing the two regulators to leverage off each other’s fintech expertise and knowledge but more importantly, facilitate referrals of innovative businesses seeking to operate in one another’s jurisdiction. The latter also includes exploring potential joint innovation projects relating to the application of new technologies.
“International cooperation on fintech is essential,” Gred Medcraft, the chairman of ASIC, emphasized – the gravitas of the message was further underscored by real action by the Australian regulator which, over the last few months, has been strengthening its fintech presence in Asia Pacific by building bridges with multiple regional neighbors. “This agreement will help local businesses grow beyond our borders, and improve our understanding of fintech in the region.”
Should both parties honor the terms of agreement set out in June, digital finance businesses from the respective jurisdictions have the opportunity to build scale and expand internationally. This also means that Shariah fintech firms in Malaysia would have greater access to the fledgling Australian Islamic finance market. At the moment, the Australian Muslim minority is underserved by local financial institutions, and there have been little developments on the Shariah compliant fintech side. This could potentially get the ball rolling.
Calling it an “important milestone” to Malaysia’s digital finance and fintech ambitions, SC Chairman Ranjit Ajit Singh nonetheless noted: “Even as we continue to enable new forms of innovation in capital markets, we must not lose sight of the need to manage digital risks, by taking a strategic approach to risk management, recruiting digital talent and improving IT architectures.”