Two sets of payments solutions for rural areas among four cohorts identified under RBI’s regulatory sandbox

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November 18, 2020 8:15 AM

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday said that it had received applications from 32 entities for the first cohort under its regulatory sandbox initiative, of which six have been selected for the test phase.

The Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH) will be guided and managed by a governing council (GC) led by a chairperson.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday said that it had received applications from 32 entities for the first cohort under its regulatory sandbox initiative, of which six have been selected for the test phase. Two of these — both in the area of digital payments for rural locations — have started testing.

“The commencement of testing was delayed on account of the present Covid-19 situation. Two entities, as per details below, have started testing of their products from November 16, 2020. The remaining four are expected to start the test phase shortly which will be communicated as and when they do so,” the central bank said in a statement on its website.

Natural Support Consultancy Services from Jaipur is testing its product ‘eRupaya’, which is a set of near-field communication (NFC) based prepaid cards and point of sale (PoS) device, to facilitate offline person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions and offline digital payments in remote locations.

Nucleus Software Exports, Delhi, is testing an offline digital cash product, ‘PaySe’, which 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-centred ecosystem, the RBI said.

On Tuesday, the central bank also announced the setting up of its innovation hub and announced the appointment of functionaries who would run it. The Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH) will be guided and managed by a governing council (GC) led by a chairperson.

The RBI has appointed Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan as the first chairperson of the RBIH. The other external members of the governing council are Ashok Jhunjhunwala, institute professor, IIT, Madras, H Krishnamurthy, principal research scientist, IISc., Bengaluru, Gopal Srinivasan, CMD, TVS Capital Funds, AP Hota, former CEO, National Payments Corporation of India and Mrutyunjay Mahapatra, former CMD, Syndicate Bank. T Rabi Sankar, executive director, RBI, Deepak Kumar, CGM, department of information technology, RBI and K Nikhila, director, Institute for Development & Research in Banking Technology, Hyderabad, will be ex-officio members of the GC.
The RBIH shall create an ecosystem that would focus on promoting access to financial services and products. This will also promote financial inclusion.

The hub 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 would develop internal infrastructure to promote fintech research and facilitate engagement with innovators and start-ups,” the RBI said.

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