50p 2017

50p 2017

A conference about India's digital payments ecosystem.

Malavika Raghavan


Whose data is it anyway? Open questions in law, policy and regulation for customers making digital payments

Submitted Dec 22, 2016

With the move towards a cashless economy now front-and-centre of the government agenda, Indians are changing the way they make payments. As more payments go digital, each of us is creating new data trails that are used, stored and passed on by a range of payment services providers and other entities. What does the law say about how this data needs to be handled? Are the old rules governing payments information fit for purpose in a digital age? Why should you care?

This talk will paint the landscape of the current state of the law for digital payments in broad strokes, before raising some open questions on data from digital payments including:

  •      What would happen today if customer data is unwittingly disclosed by a payments provider or intermediary?
  •      Do you have a right to keep your financial transactions private?
  •      Can digital payments data and new credit scoring techniques be used against certain types of people?


Structure of the talk:

  1.   The legal landscape:  An overview of the law & regulation in India affecting digital payments and related data
  2.   Risks for you and me: Highlighting some customer-level risks in the current scenario
  3.   Open questions: Unanswered questions in today’s scenario 

We will welcome audience brainstorming about what the answers to the unanswered questions should be at the end of the talk.


An open mind that is constructive and solution oriented.

Speaker bio

Malavika Raghavan is Project Head for the Future of Finance Initiative at IFMR Finance Foundation. She is a lawyer with experience in policy and strategy. She worked for several years as an international debt capital markets lawyer based in London, before moving on to consult on policy and strategy for government-backed organisations. Malavika graduated with an MPhil in Public Policy from the University of Cambridge, and completed a five-year undergraduate law-degree at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR).

The Future of Finance Initiative is a partnership between the Gates Foundation and IFMR Finance Foundation, taking stock of the sweeping changes we are witnessing in digital financial services in India – particularly those driven by Indiastack, Payment Banks, mobile usage and the growing alternative finance market – with the aim of promoting policy and regulatory strategies that protect citizens accessing finance. The IFMR Finance Foundation (IFF) is a policy research and advocacy institution guided by our mission of ensuring that every individual and every enterprise has complete access to financial services. Since 2008, when IFF was founded, it has made several contributions to the Indian financial system and participated in strong formal engagements with financial sector regulators (RBI, PFRDA and SEBI) and the Government of India. Notably, we were the technical secretariat to the Nachiket Mor Committee of the RBI that prescribed the creation of payment banks as a new category of banking institutions to meet the payment needs of Indians in 2013 – following which the RBI issued 11 payment bank licenses (with the Airtel Payment Bank going live in November 2016).


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50p, formerly an annual conference held in 2017 and 2018 on digital payments - is turning into round-the-year forum for conversations and collaborations on the #payments ecosystem, and associated #fintech topics. Follow 50p on Twitter. more