Reserve Bank of India Innovation Hub

Reserve Bank of India Innovation Hub (RBIH) is a hub created by the central bank for financial products. It acts as a centre for ideation and evolution of new capabilities that can be leveraged for creating innovative and feasible financial products and services with an aim to achieve the wider objectives of deepening financial inclusion, efficient banking services, strengthening consumer protection business continuity in times of emergency, etc.

Key Points

  • The RBI Innovation Hub (RBIH) is aimed to create an environment to promote innovation in the Financial Sector, by leveraging technology.
  • The Hub would concentrate on increasing access to financial products and services thereby improving financial inclusion across the country.
  • It will also promote research by FinTech firms and Startups.
  • The announcement for the creation of RBIH was made in the Monetary Policy Statement of RBI on August 6, 2020.
  • The Hub will also collaborate with financial sector institutions, academic institutions, technology industry and synchronize efforts for exchange of ideas and development of prototypes related to financial innovations.

Chairperson of RBIH

The RBIH will be governed by a Governing Council led by a Chairperson. On November 17, 2020 RBI has appointed the former co-Chairman of Infosys, Senapathy (Kris) Gopalakrishnan as the 1st Chairperson of RBIH. Presently, Gopalakrishnan is the Chief Mentor of Start-up Village, an incubation hub for start-ups.

Regulatory Sandbox

Regulatory sandbox framework is an initiative of RBI to provide a live controlled environment for the testing of new financial products or services in a controlled/test regulatory environment. The framework was started in November 2019 with “Retail Payments” as a theme. The Sandbox allows service providers, regulators, and customers to conduct field tests in live platform and to collect required information on the benefits and risks of the new product. Initially 6 firms have been chosen to do testing through Regulatory Sandbox. Recently, two fintech firms Natural Support Consultancy Services of Jaipur and New Delhi’s Nucleus Software Exports have started the testing of products under the RBI’s Regulatory sandbox. Other 4 firms will begin the testing of their financial products soon.