FIG Paper

Background:

A Working Group on Digital Lending (“RBI WG”), constituted by the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”), had published its Report in November 2021. It had made recommendations on (i) the legal and regulatory framework for digital lending; (ii) technology; and (iii) financial consumer protection, implementable over the near-term (up to one year) and medium-term (beyond one year).

Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 16 – Series 1) – Impact Analysis of RBI’s Recommendations of the Working Group on Digital Lending – Implementation

Payment System Operators New M&A Implications

Background:

On July 4, 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) clarified to all banks and non-bank payment system operators (“PSOs”) that its prior approval would be required for any (a) takeover/ acquisition of control, which may or may not result in change of management; and (b) sale/ transfer of payment activity to an entity not authorised for undertaking similar activity (“Circular”).

Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 15 – Series 1) – Payment System Operators (PSOs) – New M&A Implications

FIG PAPER (NO. 14) – RBI’s Vision for Payment Systems till 2025

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has published the latest of the payments vision documents titled ‘Payments Vision 2025’ with a view to build on the recent success in the digital payments space in India and the successful implementation of Payments Vision 2021. We will discuss the key developments in payments which the RBI envisages till 2025.

The RBI in its Payments Vision 2025 has set out a core theme on its vision on payments. The theme is E-payments for everyone, everywhere, everytime (4 Es). The vision set forth by the RBI in Payments Solution 2025 is to provide every user with six attributes with respect to E-payments. These are Safe, Secure, Fast, Convenient, Accessible and Affordable E-payment options. The RBI has published Payments Vision 2025 across five anchor goalposts of Integrity, Inclusion, Innovation, Institutionalisation and Internationalisation, with specific directions for each of the goalposts.
Continue Reading FIG PAPER (NO. 14) – RBI’s Vision for Payment Systems till 2025

RBI guidance on loading of PPIs through credit lines

On June 20, 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) clarified to authorised non-bank prepaid payment instrument (PPI) issuers that PPIs may not be loaded from credit lines, and any such practice should be stopped immediately.

Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 13) – RBI guidance on loading of PPIs through credit lines

FIG Papers

The recent Master Directions issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Credit cards and Debit cards – Issuance and Conduct Directions, 2022, dated April 21, 2022, is a consolidation of existing guidelines on the subject, except that it has brought about greater clarity by providing definitions on what is a credit card, credit limit and other related terminologies. In addition, it has spelt out more explicitly the scope of co-branding arrangements and the roles of card issuers and co-branding partners.

Continue Reading FIG Papers (No. 12: Series-1) RBI Master Directions on Credit and Debit Cards

Bank Guarantee

A move that may prove to be a game-changer but the proof lies in the pudding

A government procurement contract (GPC) for goods and/ or services usually requires the elected counterparty (Contractor) to furnish a bank guarantee (BG) of upto 5-10% of the contract value as performance security, as per General Financial Rules 2017. Rising non-performing assets, in recent years, have prompted banks to exercise greater caution while issuing BGs, due to which, the cost of procuring a BG has gone up from 20-40 basis points to 50-130 basis points and the cash margin required for securing a BG has also increased from 15-20% to 40-100% of the amount of the BG. Owing to these factors, the procurement of a BG has become increasingly cumbersome for Contractors and they have been long-advocating the need for an alternative to BGs.

Continue Reading Replacement of bank guarantees with surety bonds in government procurement: A welcome relief?

Metaverse

The metaverse and its use-cases

There are many ways to describe the ‘metaverse’: a post-reality universe that allows several users to participate in a shared virtual environment, an immersive 3-D extension of the internet itself, or even as the next frontier of the digital economy. In due course, the metaverse may align itself with its initial usage, as described in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash, as a vast digital environment where users could interact with each other. While the Metaverse may escape the contours of a universally accepted definition (for some time at least), it will, by present trends, continue to capture popular culture, imagination and increasingly, various aspects of life. As early as 2005, the metaverse had begun to be considered as something more than simply being centered around MMORPGs (or massively multiplayer online role-playing games). Today, the Indian market already bears witness to the proliferation of augmented reality, virtual reality, and elements of the ‘metaverse’ across several B2B, B2C and C2C applications. Indian tech firms and start-ups have been quick to respond.

Continue Reading FIG Papers (No. 11: Series-1) Into the Metaverse: Legal and regulatory considerations in India

Fintech Department

In recent years, in line with global trends, India’s growth has been fuelled by technology and platform economy, with physical moving towards digital and ‘phygital’.

Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 10: Series -1) RBI’s New FinTech Department: Industry Implications & Future

Fintech

The end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 has come bearing gifts for the financial technology (“Fintech”) sector particularly for the lending space. The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) had amended the Credit Information Companies Regulations, 2006 (“Regulations”) on November 10, 2021 vide the Credit Information Companies (Amendment) Regulations, 2021  (“Amendment”)[1] – the first amendment since 2017 – expanding the scope of entities falling within the definition of ‘specified users’ under Regulation 3 to include “an entity engaged in the processing of information, for the support or benefit of credit institutions, and satisfying the criteria laid down by the Reserve Bank from time to time.”

Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 9) – RBI Press Release on ‘Specified Users’ – New Year Relief for Fintech Companies

FIG Paper 8

Introduction:

With the pandemic acting as a tailwind for the digital payments industry in India, the fintech industry represents a key opportunity for the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) for its financial inclusion push in the country. A key driver in this regard is the burgeoning prepaid payment instruments (“PPI”) industry. PPIs have been widely used in the country for many years, but have seen significant commercial changes in recent times to reach a wider consumer base, given the high market penetration of mobile internet in India.

Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 8) – New Master Directions for PPI – A Fresh Look at Prepaid Payment Instruments!