Digital India Trust Agency (DIGITA)

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is considering establishing a Digital India Trust Agency (DIGITA) to combat the proliferation of illegal lending apps and curb growing cyber fraud. This proposed agency aims to verify digital lending apps, maintain a public register of verified apps, and promote transparency and accountability within the digital lending sector.

Background

In recent years, India has witnessed a surge in fraudulent activities and unethical practices in the digital lending sector. The RBI has taken various measures to address this issue, including collaborating with the IT Ministry and Google to whitelist legitimate digital lending apps and remove unauthorised ones from the Google Play Store.

Functions of DIGITA

Once established, DIGITA would be responsible for the following:

  • Verification of digital lending apps: DIGITA would vet digital lending apps to ensure compliance with RBI regulations and guidelines.
  • Maintaining a public register of verified apps: The agency would maintain a public register of verified digital lending apps, making it easier for consumers to identify legitimate apps.
  • Combating financial crimes: Apps lacking the verified mark from DIGITA would be considered unauthorised for law enforcement purposes, serving as a crucial checkpoint in combating financial crimes in the digital domain.

Collaboration with Google

The RBI has provided the IT Ministry with a list of 442 digital lending apps for Googles whitelisting. From September 2022 to August 2023, Google removed over 2,200 digital lending apps from its app store. Google now enforces a policy allowing only apps published by RBI-regulated entities (REs) or in partnership with REs on the Play Store, following requests from the RBI and the Department of Financial Services under the Finance Ministry.

Current Status

As of March 2024, the RBI has not officially announced the establishment of DIGITA, and the agency remains a proposed initiative.


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