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RBI's Fintech Innovation: Apps, Approvals & Industry Insights

Struggling with India's lengthy fintech approvals? RBI's new portal streamlines the process! Plus, a mobile app for G-Sec investments & a massive FinTech data hub. Is India's fintech future wide open? Read the article for details.

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RBI Fintech Fix

India's fintech sector has been experiencing phenomenal growth, revolutionizing the way financial services are accessed and delivered. To further empower this dynamic industry, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched three key initiatives: the PRAVAAH portal, the RBI Retail Direct mobile app, and the FinTech Repository.

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India's booming fintech sector received a major boost on May 28, 2024, with the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) launch of three groundbreaking initiatives: PRAVAAH portal, RBI Retail Direct mobile application, and FinTech Repository. These initiatives, previously announced in the RBI's bi-monthly statements, mark a significant leap forward in regulatory practices and accessibility for both investors and fintech companies.

Streamlined Regulatory Approvals with PRAVAAH Portal

The PRAVAAH portal (Platform for Regulatory Application, VAlidation and AutHorisation) eliminates the hassle of paper-based applications. This secure, centralized platform empowers individuals and entities to seamlessly apply online for various RBI licenses and authorizations. Key features of PRAVAAH include:

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  • Effortless Online Applications: Submit applications electronically for faster processing.
  • Real-Time Application Tracking: Monitor the status of your application conveniently.
  • Direct Communication with RBI: Respond to queries and clarifications promptly.
  • Timely Decisions: Receive approvals from the Reserve Bank in a time-bound manner.

Currently, PRAVAAH offers 60 application forms covering diverse RBI departments. It also includes a general-purpose form for unique requests, with an expected expansion of forms in the future. This initiative promises to significantly reduce processing times and enhance transparency, fostering a more innovation-friendly environment for fintech growth.

Mr. Nirav Choksi, CEO & Co-Founder, CredAble, said, "The RBI’s decision to launch the three pioneering initiatives can be deemed a potential game-changer for the financial services industry as a whole. FinTech revenues in India are expected to grow at 35%+ annually to reach $190B+ revenues by 2030. Against this backdrop, the launch of a comprehensive FinTech Repository provides an opportunity to redraw the regulatory boundaries and take stock of the innovative products and services emerging as a result of FinTech solutions and the adoption of advanced technologies. I believe the FinTech Repository is a comprehensive resource for industry stakeholders and regulators alike, informing policy formulations and strengthening security measures”

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Empowering Retail Investors with Retail Direct Mobile App

The  RBI Retail Direct mobile application empowers retail investors with unprecedented access to the retail direct platform. Investors can now conveniently buy and sell government securities (G-Secs) directly from their smartphones. Launched in November 2021, the retail direct portal allowed G-Sec investments in primary auctions and the secondary market. The mobile app, available on Android and iOS, simplifies the investment process with a user-friendly interface. This initiative aligns with RBI's strategy to broaden the investor base for government securities, furthering the development of India's financial market.

Gaining Comprehensive Sector Insights with FinTech Repository

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The FinTech Repository is a groundbreaking initiative designed to gather and compile crucial information about the Indian fintech sector. Managed by the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH), this repository will serve as a comprehensive database on fintech entities, their activities, and the technologies they leverage. This valuable data will provide policymakers and industry participants with unmatched insights into the fintech landscape.

EmTech Repository: A Focus on Emerging Technologies

Complementing the FinTech Repository is the EmTech Repository. This repository focuses on the adoption of emerging technologies like AI, ML, Cloud Computing, DLT, and Quantum Computing by RBI-regulated entities (banks and NBFCs). Both repositories are secure web-based applications accessible through dedicated URLs.

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Data-Driven Decisions for a Flourishing Fintech Ecosystem

The FinTech and EmTech Repositories will facilitate the aggregation of vital sectoral data, trends, and analytics. This data will be instrumental in understanding the evolving fintech landscape and making informed policy decisions. The RBI encourages all fintech entities, both regulated and unregulated, to actively contribute to these repositories, ensuring comprehensive data collection and analysis.

RBI said in a press release that these initiatives aim to "provide a streamlined, efficient, and accessible platform for fintechs," ultimately driving growth and innovation within the Indian fintech sector. Industry leaders like Nilay Patel, Founder & Managing Director of Easy Pay, echoed this sentiment, highlighting these initiatives as a "significant step forward" for the fintech landscape.

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By streamlining regulatory approvals, simplifying G-Sec investments, and offering comprehensive sector insights, RBI initiatives will propel the Indian fintech sector towards a future brimming with growth and innovation. As these tools become operational, they are expected to play a crucial role in shaping the future of financial technology in India.

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