RBI mulls to set up Digital India Trust Agency to check illegal lending apps

In a bid to combat the rising threat of cyber fraud, the Reserve Bank of India is contemplating the establishment of a Digital India Trust Agency (DIGITA) to counter the proliferation of illicit lending apps.

According to sources, the envisioned agency would facilitate the verification of digital lending apps and maintain a publicly accessible registry of verified applications. Apps lacking the ‘verified’ endorsement from DIGITA would be deemed unauthorized for law enforcement purposes, acting as a crucial checkpoint in the battle against digital financial crimes.

Sources highlighted that DIGITA would assume the responsibility of scrutinizing digital lending apps. They emphasized that implementing a verification process would foster transparency and accountability within the burgeoning digital lending sector, which has witnessed a surge in fraudulent activities and unethical practices in recent times.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India has furnished the IT Ministry with a list of 442 digital lending apps for whitelisting by Google. Additionally, Google has removed over 2,200 digital lending apps from its app store between September 2022 and August 2023.

The tech giant has revised its policy regarding the regulation of loan apps on the PlayStore, permitting only those apps published by the RBI’s regulated entities (REs) or those operating in collaboration with REs. This policy alteration by Google was made at the request of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Department of Financial Services (DFS) under the Finance Ministry.

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