“The pace at which circulars are issued by regulators in India, fintechs are super confused—(wondering) if they should be hiring computer science engineers or compliance officers.” When Pravin Jadhav tweeted that message with a tearful smiley face on September 30, it was only half in jest.
The founder of Raise Financial Services, which operates stockbroking platform Dhan, was ruing the onslaught of circulars from the Reserve Bank of India, the banking regulator. Fintechs have been at the receiving end of those diktats.
For a while back in 2021, the question that was often asked, despite the sharp disparity in their size, was: will fintechs be a threat to banks? Today, the RBI has left no one in doubt about the answer, going by the slew of circulars that it has issued to rein in fintechs.
Indeed, the lay of the land was very visible at the Global Fintech fest in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex, which RBI governor Shaktikanta Das addressed on September 21. The mega fintech event was a prestigious affair, on par with global events in terms of its scale. The central bank governor’s attendance underlined that prestige.