The Misra Centre for Financial Markets and Economy (MCFME) at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), a premier global management institute, along with the Centre for Advanced Financial Research and Learning (CAFRAL), is organising the ‘International Research Conference on FinTech: Innovation, Inclusion, and Regulation’ on March 10 and 11, 2023 on campus.
The two-day conference is being organised with the objective of bringing top researchers, practitioners, regulators from across the globe together to deliberate on key issues that accompany the exponential growth that FinTech has seen in the past few years. Adoption of payment systems such as UPI and technology driven approaches to lending decision have fundamentally changed the way Indians transact and borrow, presenting stiff challenges to traditional banks. Over the course of two days, the event will feature three panel discussions and 17 research paper presentations on topics ranging from consumer protection, security and stability to financial inclusion.
Addressing the gathering, Professor Bharat Bhasker, Director, IIMA said, “The IIMA-CAFRAL FinTech conference comes at an opportune time during India’s Presidency of the G20. The G20 Finance Track emphasizes improving financial inclusion through harnessing emerging technologies, improving the financial architecture, digital financial literacy, and bridging the digital divide. The Indian FinTech market is among the top three in the global FinTech ecosystem, along with the United States and China. I am confident that deliberations at this Conference will lead to practical and actionable outcomes that can further strengthen the financial sectorand its contribution to India’s ambitions of prosperity for all.”
While FinTech has seen widespread adoption, technological innovations also pose an unprecedented set of challenges and issues for consumer protection and the regulation of FinTech firms.
Sharing his thoughts, M. K. Jain, Deputy Governor, RBI, said, “The FinTech revolution is well underway in India, and it presents us with a unique opportunity to drive financial inclusion, improve the efficiency of the financial sector, and create new economic opportunities for millions of people. The Reserve Bank’s approach has been to balance innovation with regulation, without compromising on the principles of prudence. However, for the FinTechs to grow, it is essential for them keep customers at the centre of their innovation and imbibe high standards of good governance in their culture.”
Jayant Kumar Dash, Executive Director, RBI said, “The latest Economic Survey’s reporting of 87 percent FinTech adoption rate in India as against world average of 64 percent speaks terabytes about our FinTech ecosystem. Right-timing of policy enablers and enabling technologies helped take-off of innovative FinTech activities by transforming challenging situations to growth opportunities. The outcome of proactive policy measures of RBI such as in P2P lending, opening banking etc. and regulatory approach for innovation-induced activities, such as digital lending, will ensure that responsible innovation and sustainable models will always be fostered for nation’s progress.”
Professor Sanket Mohapatra, Chairperson, Misra Centre for Financial Markets and Economy said, “The IIMA Misra Centre, in collaboration with CAFRAL, is pleased to host this unique conference which brings together the RBI, FinTech companies, banks, legal professionals, and researchers. The conference provides a common platform to brainstorm on how to leverage the benefits of fast-evolving financial technologies, how regulations can encourage innovations while protecting the interests of consumers, the role of FinTech startups and established firms in expanding access to financial services to previously underserved populations, the interplay of the UPI retail payments system and the e-Rupee, among many other exciting topics.”
IIMA faculty member and one of the key organisers of the conference, Professor Ellapulli Vasudevan, said, “We have seen an overwhelming response to the idea of this conference. Even though this is the conference’s first edition, we have some of the foremost speakers representing regulatory bodies, corporates, and academia directly involved in the Fintech growth story of India. We are optimistic that everyone will get valuable insights from the discussions.”
On the first day of the conference, a high profile panel discussion on ‘Balancing FinTech Innovation and Regulation’ was held wherein Jayant Kumar Dash, Executive Director, RBI; Nitin Chugh, Deputy Managing Director and Head of Digital Banking and Transformation, SBI; Apar Gupta, Executive Director, Internet Freedom Foundation and Vishal Mehta, Managing Director, Infibeam Avenues Limited, discussed current regulations of FinTech and their implications for entrepreneurial activity and innovation in the financial sector. They also deliberated on the role of regulators and practitioners in consumer protection in the fast-changing technology landscape.
The second day will begin with paper presentations on various aspects of FinTech in India. The highlight of the second day of the conference is the academic keynote address by Professor Thorsten Beck, Director at Florence School of Banking and Finance and Professor of Financial Stability at the European University Institute, on ‘Digitalisation and Finance: Opportunities and Challenges”. This will be followed by two panel discussions. First on FinTech Experiences in India and the World, and second on FinTech and Financial Inclusion.
The panel discussions in the two days aremoderated by IIMA faculty members Professor Ellapulli Vasudevan, Professor Abhiman Das and Professor Joshy Jacob. Other members of the organising committee included Professor Sanket Mohapatra, Chairperson, MCFME, IIMA faculty members, Professor MP Ram Mohan, Professor Balagopal Gopalakrishnan andDr Nirupama Kulkarni, DrGautham Udupa, and DrKaushalendra Kishore from CAFRAL.
About Misra Centre for Financial Markets and Economy
The Misra Centre, a centre of excellence at IIM Ahmedabad, supports research and knowledge sharing on contemporary issues in finance, economics, and related areas that are relevant for policy and practice.The Centre conducts research on the financial markets and economy in India and emphasises on focused research, and knowledge sharing on unique issues linked to financial markets within the overall economic framework.