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Razorpay appoints ex-RBI, SBI execs, and retd IAS officers to advisory board

The board has been set up to assist Razorpay develop long-term strategies, anticipating challenges and suggesting mitigation measures, especially in the context of regulatory compliance.

Razorpay appoints ex-RBI, SBI execs, and retd IAS officers to advisory board

Tuesday April 18, 2023 , 4 min Read

Payment gateway and neo-banking platform Razorpay has roped in former RBI Deputy Governor N S Vishwanathan and HDB Financial Services Chairman and former MD at State Bank of India, Arijit Basu, to lead its newly-formed ‘advisory board’. 

The founding independent members of the board also include retired civil servants—Aruna Sundararajan, former Secretary, Ministries of Steel, IT, and Telecom, GoI (Member), and K P Krishnan, former Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Member). 

The board has been set up to assist the fintech unicorn develop long-term strategies, anticipating challenges and suggesting mitigation measures, especially in the context of regulatory and compliance processes, Razorpay said in a statement.

The council will also help contribute to the development of Razorpay’s payment infrastructure and engage with key institutions and stakeholders, it noted. 

  

“With India serving as a benchmark for several nations today, it is pertinent that companies like ours are future-ready and agile to adapt to the ever-changing fintech environment,” said Harshil Mathur, CEO and Co-founder at Razorpay. 

He said the company was putting down “further systems to uphold the highest standards of customer experience and governance” while aiming for the next phase of growth. 

“There is a tremendous opportunity to learn from each of these industry veterans. We believe that with their strategic inputs, knowledge, and guidance, along with our commitment to innovation, customer-centricity, and good governance, Razorpay is sure to build best practices in the fintech industry that will aid us in sound decision-making,” he added.

The trend: Industry veterans onboard fintech ship 

With digital transactions on the rise, fintechs are increasingly facing regulatory scrutiny on compliance, sanctions, and legal actions as regulators zero down on new guidelines, partnership models, etc.  

Razorpay came under the regulatory scanner four months ago, after it, along with its payment gateway peer Cashfree, was asked to stop onboarding new merchants until it received its payment aggregator license and submitted audit reports of its system. 

The startup has also been under the radar of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which had filed a chargesheet against the fintech unicorn for money laundering in the alleged illegal Chinese loan app case.

Last year, the agency also conducted search operations at its office, as well as at other payment gateways. 

In July 2022, the fintech unicorn also landed in a soup over data privacy as it faced social media backlash for disclosing data of the donors of fact-checking website Alt News to police in a case regarding the arrest of the portal's co-founder Muhammad Zubair. 

Several fintechs firms have strategically looped in industry veterans, especially from the regulatory and banking side, on their boards to mitigate risks. 

Recently, card fintech platform Slice appointed former RBI Executive Director Eugene Karthak and ex-SBI Managing Director S Vishvanathan as independent director and advisor, respectively. 

BharatPe, Paytm, EbixCash, QwikCilver Solutions, and KrazyBee (NBFC arm of Kreditebee), too, have put former RBI leaders on their respective boards.  

Razorpay board
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Razorpay’s new advisory board

In a statement, Razorpay defined some of the key subject areas for the advisory board to review, analyse, and provide recommendations and directions on both strategic and tactical levels.

This includes accelerating product innovation around customer experience and customer safety; building best-in-class practices for regulatory and compliance management processes; working with various stakeholders to enhance risk monitoring and cybercrime prevention; and building new processes around digital information security that will help shape the future of the fintech ecosystem. 

On joining the advisory board as chairperson, N S Vishwanathan said, “In light of India’s rapidly evolving financial sector, it is crucial to foster collaboration with innovative fintech companies to drive progress and deliver superior yet compliant services to businesses and consumers.” 

He further added that his experience and expertise in governance will help shape the company’s future plans. "I look forward to working with my colleagues and providing to the team the required guidance and expertise in helping the company adopt best-in-class governance and compliance practices in its business operations.”

(Graphic by Winona Laisram.)


Edited by Kanishk Singh