RBI announced the opening of first cohort under the Regulatory Sandbox with retail payments as its theme. The innovative products or services that shall be considered for inclusion under Regulatory Sandbox include mobile payments such as feature-phone-based payment services, offline payment solutions, and contactless payments. The window for submission of application for the first cohort shall be open from November 15 to December 15, 2019. RBI also published the format of application to the Regulatory Sandbox.
The adoption of retail payments as the theme is expected to spur innovation in digital payments space and help in offering payment services to the unserved and underserved segment of the population. The entities meeting the eligibility criteria as laid out in the framework may apply. The target applicants for entry to the regulatory sandbox are fintech companies such as startups, banks, financial institutions, and any other company partnering with or providing support to financial services businesses, subject to the sandbox criteria laid down in these guidelines. However, it may be noted that the live testing of new products or services in a controlled environment may require a bank, non-bank financial institution or any other partner, for the testing to commence. In such cases, a suitable partner may be secured in advance to be eligible for admission to the Regulatory Sandbox.
The Regulatory Sandbox is, at its core, a formal regulatory program for market participants to test new products, services, or business models with customers in a live environment, subject to certain safeguards and oversight. The focus of the Regulatory Sandbox will be to encourage innovations intended for use in the Indian market in areas where there is absence of governing regulations, where there is a need to temporarily ease regulations for enabling the proposed innovation, and where the proposed innovation shows promise of easing or effecting delivery of financial services in a significant way.
Keywords: Asia Pacific, India, Banking, Regulatory Sandbox, Fintech, Regtech, First Cohort, RBI
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