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Southeast Asia letting startups play in the fintech sandbox

Insurance vendor, AI-based asset manager testing new business models

Singaporean insurance policy management app provider PolicyPal, headed by founder Val Yap, left, obtained a regular business license after taking advantage of the regulatory sandbox.

SINGAPORE/SHANGHAI -- Southeast Asian countries are working to cultivate homegrown financial ventures by temporarily waiving regulations to let them experiment with innovative services. 

The so-called regulatory sandbox, an idea originated in the U.K., is increasingly used in the region to enable startups with limited personnel and funding to try out untested business models. The growing presence of major Chinese startups and a lack of homegrown contenders may lie behind the push.

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