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RBI sets up Innovation Hub for financial sector

Tuesday, 17 Nov 2020
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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up an Innovation Hub for the financial sector.

The RBI had said in its August 2020 monetary policy that it was going to set up a Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH) to promote innovation across the financial sector by leveraging on technology and creating an environment which would facilitate and foster innovation.

The aim of the RBIH is to create an eco-system that will focus on promoting access to financial services and products. This will also promote financial inclusion.

RBIH will collaborate with financial sector institutions, technology industry and academic institutions and coordinate efforts for exchange of ideas and development of prototypes related to financial innovations.

It will develop internal infrastructure to promote fintech research and facilitate engagement with innovators and start-ups.

Meanwhile, in another development, two entities of the six selected for the first cohort under the regulatory sandbox structure with retail payments as its theme, have started testing of their products while the remaining four are expected to start their testing shortly.

The central bank received applications from 32 entities for the first cohort. The delay in testing by the six entities selected out of the 32 that put forth their applications was due to the COVID-19 situation.

The two entities that have started testing are Natural Support Consultancy Services, Jaipur, and Nucleus Software Exports, New Delhi.

Natural Support Consultancy is testing its product eRupaya, which is a set of a Near-Field Communication (NFC) based prepaid card and NFC enabled Point of Sale (PoS) device, to facilitate offline Person-to-Merchant (P2M) transactions and offline digital payments in remote locations.

Nucleus Software, on the other hand, is testing its product PaySe, which is an offline digital cash product that will help connect with rural areas for e-payments. The product proposes to help in digitisation of payments in rural areas, starting with Self Help Groups (SHG), through an offline payment solution and a digitised SHG-centered ecosystem.

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