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  • 05 September, 2022

  • 8 Min Read

Digital Lending UPSC

Digital Lending

Image Source - Inc42

The Reserve Bank of India recently stated that regulated businesses providing credit through digital lending will have until November 30 to adhere to the lending standards for already-existing digital loans.

About digital lending

  • It entails financing through websites or mobile applications while utilizing technology for authentication and credit scoring.
  • By utilizing current capabilities in traditional lending, banks have started their own independent digital lending platforms to enter the digital lending sector.


  • Specifically in India's microenterprise and low-income consumer segments, financial inclusion aids in addressing the country's enormous unmet credit need.
  • Reduce Informal Borrowing: By making the borrowing procedure simpler, it aids in minimizing informal borrowing.
  • Time-Saving: It cuts down on the amount of time needed to process loan applications locally. Additionally, digital lending platforms have been shown to reduce overhead expenses by 30% to 50%.
  • India continues to have the second-highest proportion of the global population without a bank account.
  • The fact that over 190 million adult Indians don't have any sort of bank account presents a big opportunity.
  • From USD 33 billion in FY15 to USD 150 billion in FY20, and with an expected increase to USD 350 billion by FY23, the value of digital lending has increased significantly.
  • Customer annoyance is decreased via increased process openness and quicker decision-making.
  • It lessens the likelihood of incomplete files, which slows down application screening.
  • It promotes improved communication with the client regarding the details of what needs to be disclosed upfront.
  • Additionally, the analytics and intelligence portions of the loan process can be digitalized by financial organizations.
  • For short-term loans like BNPL, digital lenders frequently omit these strict credit checks.
  • Loans are more readily available to first-time applicants because they either rely on alternative credit score data or have little to no financial information.


An increase in unlicensed mobile and digital lending platforms leads to problems such as:

  • They impose exorbitant interest rates and additional hidden fees.
  • They use offensive and obnoxious healing strategies.
  • They abuse contracts to gain access to borrowers' mobile phone data.
  • For digital loans such as consumer loans, instant loans, etc., there is no regulatory framework.
  • Absence of proactive safeguards against phoney lending platforms
  • Lack of LSP and digital lending app monitoring systems.
  • Concerns about data privacy and unethical business practices, as well as mis-selling and cyber security, are further challenges.
  • RBI's Regulation of Digital Lending Guidelines

Guidelines of RBI to Regulate Digital Lending:


  • All digital loans provided by commercial banks, non-banking financing companies (NBFCs), and primary, state, and district-level central cooperative banks are subject to the rules.

Present and potential clients

  • These rules are going to be in effect right away for both new and returning clients who are applying for new loans.
  • current digital loans
  • Additionally, they adhere to these rules.

Arrangements for outsourcing

  • Even if regulated organizations sign outsourcing contracts with digital lending applications or lending service providers (LSPs), their obligations will remain the same (DLAs).


  • All loan payments and disbursements must only be made between the borrower's bank account and those of the regulated entities. It must be free of any pass-through or pool accounts belonging to the LSP or other parties.


  • The only exceptions are disbursements that are solely covered by the statutory or regulatory mandate, money transfers for co-lending between regulated entities, and disbursements for specific end uses, provided that the loan is disbursed directly into the end-bank beneficiary's account.

Fees and Punishment

  • Regulated entities must make sure that any fees that must be paid directly to LSPs are done so.
  • LSP shouldn't charge the borrower directly for them is still owed should be the basis for the penal interest charged to borrowers.
  • The borrower should be informed in the key fact statement of the annualized rate of such penal costs (KFS).
  • The annual percentage rate (APR), the recovery procedure, and information on the grievance redress officers assigned to deal with digital loans will all be included in a KFS.

Waking up the client

  • They must make sure that the borrower is informed of all relevant product information.
  • Additionally, they must let the borrower know about the LSP, who will be in charge of recovery.

Calming down time

  • For loans with a maturity of seven days or longer, the RBI has said that the duration cannot be less than three days.
  • For loans with a term of fewer than seven days, it is one day.
  • A borrower has the opportunity to pay off a digital loan's principal and proportionate APR during a cooling-off period without incurring any penalties.

Data sharing and customer data collection

  • According to RBI, the goal of getting borrowers' agreement must be made clear at each stage of interaction with them. Additionally, the borrower's express authorization must be obtained before disclosing any personal information to a third party.
  • The only exception is when such sharing is necessary to comply with legal or regulatory requirements.

Way Forward

  • A digital loan platform can make safer selections thanks to high-end measurements and analytics.
  • Processing quickly: They can determine right away whether to provide the loan and for how much.
  • Customer-focused strategy: The goal of India's digital loan industry is to make processing and paperwork simple.
  • Customers must use due caution and select the appropriate product and lender.
  • Regulation: This market has always needed a solid set of restrictions to keep it in check.

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