PIL in HC for regulating operations of techfin firms like Facebook, Google, Amazon

According to the petition filed by an applied economist, techfin institutions are technology, telecommunications, or ecommerce companies, which have now entered the financial sector to provide financial services.
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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response of the Centre, RBI, SEBI, IRDAI, and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on a PIL seeking a detailed legal framework for regulating operations of techfin companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon in India's financial sector space.

According to the petition filed by an applied economist, techfin institutions are technology, telecommunications or ecommerce companies, which have now entered the financial sector to provide financial services.

A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to the ministries of finance and law as also Reserve Bank of India (RBI), NPCI, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) seeking their stand on the plea by Resmi P Bhaskaran.

Petitioner Resmi P Bhaskaran, in her plea filed through advocate Deepak Prakash, has alleged that the "lackadaisical approach" of Indian financial regulators permits unregulated operation of techfin firms and claims that this could adversely affect the financial stability of the country.

The petition also claims that unregulated operation of techfin entities in the financial sector can lead to financial crisis and leakage of personal data.

It contends that regulations are required to be framed immediately to prevent techfin companies from entering into the financial sector or providing financial services through any mode without prior registration or approval from regulators.

It also seeks framing of regulations to ensure data collected while providing financial services are not monetised or used for any other purpose by such companies.

Earlier in November, Amazon India launched 'STEP,' a performance-based benefits programme, to help close to seven lakh sellers on its platform accelerate their growth.

With the launch of STEP, Amazon is introducing its revised fee structure that was earlier deferred to after Diwali. STEP simplifies the seller experience by providing customised and actionable recommendations, which help sellers improve key customer experience metrics and, in turn, their growth, a statement said.

By improving performance, sellers can unlock benefits across multiple levels like Basic, Standard, Advanced, Premium, and more.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

Edited by Megha Reddy