RBI Governor Says Fintechs Free to Grow, Declares War on Rumours of Favouritism

It was a reassuring day for India's fintech industry when RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das gave a clear message to all fintech companies that the central bank was not against any of them and only wanted them to grow. This comes in the wake of the RBI's recent actions against Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL), which has caused considerable panic in the industry. Regarding this particular case, Das said that the time given to Paytm, up to March 15, was sufficient and that the RBI's actions were not intended to slow down the growth of the country's financial sector but to ensure its sustainable growth.

The central bank's focus is on preventing financial mishaps and deepening supervision, without stifling growth. This sentiment was echoed by Google and Indian apps agreeing to a four-month extension in the timeline for payment of service fees to the Android maker. This comes after the IT ministry stepped in to resolve the faceoff between local apps and Google over its billing policies. Several IT companies are now looking to induct specialists in new technologies through small-scale recruitment drives to future-proof their business. Identity verification startup Idfy, for example, has recently raised ₹224 crore while social media startup Hunch has raised ₹26 million and rural commerce startup Rozana ₹22.5 million.

However, some less welcome news for fintech comes in the form of meme coins, with trading of these having spiked on Indian cryptocurrency exchanges. This is likely a result of the recent global crypto market surge. While largely a positive day for the fintech industry in India, RBI Governor Das did issue a word of caution. When asked about the potential introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) he said the RBI was studying the viability of the digital rupee, and that while it held promise it could also be risky and there were no easy answers.

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