Fintech Law Firms

Over the years, the Financial Technology (FinTech) industry has developed and has witnessed exponential growth. Financial technology, or fintech, aims to upgrade and automate the use of financial services. It enables businesses, companies, and consumers to manage their financial transactions and payments efficiently. Implementing fintech laws and regulations ensures safety and security to financial institutions, providing services and the customers using them.

With the introduction of the Digital Lending Platform, the business of lending has metamorphosed into a different shape altogether. Digital Lending Platform allows consumers to avail finance while shopping on e-commerce sites, allows SME to avail loans based on real-time sales data available on ecommerce marketplace, allows employees to avail loans on salary, allows youth to avail small ticket sized student loans to buy gadgets, withthe option of buy today pay later or other postpaid schemes, peer to peer finance, crowd funding etc.

REGULATORY BODIES

India’s financial regulators are fragmented. The primary regulator in the Fintech sector is the Central Bank, i.e., RBI which regulates the payments and settlement functions in India. In addition, RBI is also the regulator of foreign exchange and cross-border transactions. Further, the RBI also regulates the financial entities in the ecosystem such as banks, NBFCs, etc. as well as credit information companies (CICs).

In addition, keeping in mind the nature of fintech offerings, other regulators may assume relevance which, inter alia, include SEBI, IRDA, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (“Meity”) and the Ministry of Finance.

Key Regulations And Regulatory Approaches

1. PSS ACT

The Principal regulation governing payments in India is the Payment and Settlements Act, 2007 (“PSS Act”). In exercise of the powers under the PSS Act, the RBI from time to time has been enacting various directions, notifications and regulations to regulate fintech sector in India.

2. PA Guidelines

The Payment aggregators are regulated primarily through Guidelines on Regulation of payment aggregators and Payment Gateways issued vide notification dated March 17, 2020, and as amended from time to time. The PA guidelines require entities proposing to engage in activities of a payment aggregator to seek an authorisation from the RBI.

3. PPI Directions

The issuance and operations of PPIs are governed by the RBI through the Reserve Bank of India Master Directions on Prepaid Payment Instruments, 2021 (PPI Directions), which require authorisation from the RBI and such PPI issuers are required to adhere to the PPI Directions and other notifications issued by the RBI.

4. KYC Directions

The RBI has issued Reserve Bank of India KYC Directions, 2016 which inter alia, prscribe KYC requirements to be complied with.

5. Outsourcing Guidelines

The RBI has enacted separate outsourcing guidelines for various regulated entities such as banks, NBFCs, PSOs, etc. in the event such regulated entities are outsourcing guidelines generally assume relevance in the context of partnership between fintech entities and regulated entities in relation to various product offerings.

6. Data Localisation Requirements

The RBI has stipulated data localisation requirements through a notification which, inter alia, requires the storage of payment systems data only in India.

7. Data Privacy Laws

The Information Technology Act, 2000 and rules made thereunder currently prescribe data privacy and data protection related requirements and compliances.

Our Law Firm advises on the following :

  • Regulatory requirements & opinions,
  • Business contracts,
  • Safeguards,
  • Strategies,
  • Jurisdictional challenges including multi-jurisdictional,
  • Transactional vetting,
  • Data Privacy,
  • Cybersecurity,
  • Anti-money laundering,
  • Competition and disputes,
  • Advisory

We have significant experience in the FinTech industry since its beginning in India and advise several leading players in the industry as well as industry associations. We have developed expertise and carved a niche in this area through comprehensive research, in-depth understanding and monitoring of the sector.

For any strategic handheld advisory and implementation, feel free to connect with LEGALLANDS LLP

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Managing Partner

Legallands LLP