Mains Paper 3: Economy | Mobilization of resources
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Regulatory Sandbox
Mains level: Challenges to India as a growing fintech market
- The RBI is set to issue guidelines for a ‘regulatory sandbox’ for financial technology (fintech) firms within two months.
What is Regulatory Sandbox?
- A sandbox approach provides a secure environment for fintech firms to experiment with products under supervision of a regulator.
- The concept of a regulatory sandbox or innovation hub for fintech firms was mooted by a committee headed by then RBI executive director Sudarshan Sen.
- The panel, which submitted its report in November 2017, had called for a regulatory sandbox to help firms experiment with fintech solutions, where the consequences of failure can be contained and reasons for failure analysed.
- If the product appears to have the potential to be successful, it might be authorised and brought to the broader market more quickly.
- The sandbox will enable fintech companies to conduct live or virtual testing of their new products and services.
Why such move?
- Fintech or financial technology companies use technology to provide financial services such as payments, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding, among others.
- According to NITI Aayog, India is one of the fastest growing fintech markets globally, and industry research has projected that $1 trillion, or 60% of retail and SME credit, will be digitally disbursed by 2029.
- The Indian fintech ecosystem is the third largest in the world, attracting nearly $6 billion in investments since 2014, the think tank said.
- A global survey ranked India, with 1,218 fintech firms, second in terms of fintech adoption, with an adoption rate of 52 per cent.
Issue of Data Privacy
- The risks for fintech products may arise from cross-border legal and regulatory issues where confidentiality and customer protection are major areas that needed to be addressed.
- The proposed Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018, had categorised all financial data as “sensitive personal data”, which is not the case for many European countries.