RBI sets up Working Group (WG) for assessing digital lending via online platforms and mobile apps

The Group consists of internal and external members.

Jan 14, 2021 11:01 IST India Infoline News Service

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up a Working Group (WG) to study all aspects of digital lending activities in the regulated financial sector as well as by unregulated players so that an appropriate regulatory approach can be put in place.

The Group consists of internal and external members.

Internal members are:
  • Jayant Kumar Dash, Executive Director, RBI (Chairman)
  • Ajay Kumar Choudhary, Chief General Manager-in-Charge, Department of Supervision, RBI
  • P. Vasudevan, Chief General Manager, Department of Payment and Settlement Systems, RBI
  • Manoranjan Mishra, Chief General Manager, Department of Regulation, RBI (Member Secretary)

External Members are:
  • Vikram Mehta, a former associate of Monexo Fintech
  • Rahul Sasi, Cyber Security Expert & Founder of CloudSEK

The Group will evaluate the following as per the RBI:
  • Evaluate digital lending activities and assess the penetration and standards of outsourced digital lending activities in RBI regulated entities;
  • Identify risks posed by unregulated digital lending to financial stability, regulated entities and consumers;
  • Suggest regulatory changes, if any, to promote orderly growth of digital lending;
  • Recommend measures, if any, for expansion of specific regulatory or statutory perimeter and suggest the role of various regulatory and government agencies;
  • Recommend a robust Fair Practices Code for digital lending players, insourced or outsourced;
  • Suggest measures for enhanced Consumer Protection; and
  • Recommend measures for robust data governance, data privacy and data security standards for deployment of digital lending services.

RBI has advised the Group to submit its report within three months.

The central bank's above-mentioned move comes after recent spurt and popularity of online lending platforms/ mobile lending apps (‘digital lending’) raised certain serious concerns which have wider systemic implications.

RBI said that digital lending has the potential to make access to financial products and services more fair, efficient and inclusive. From a peripheral supporting role a few years ago, FinTech led innovation is now at the core of the design, pricing and delivery of financial products and services. While penetration of digital methods in the financial sector is a welcome development, the benefits and certain downside risks are often interwoven in such endeavours.

RBI added that a balanced approach needs to be followed so that the regulatory framework supports innovation while ensuring data security, privacy, confidentiality and consumer protection.

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