In its efforts to develop India's financial capital into a fintech hub, the Maharashtra government has announced a "sandbox" to aid start-ups in the fintech space.
Maharashtra, the first state to have a dedicated fintech policy, is also planning to have a dedicated "Fintech Officer" in the Department of Information Technology, CM Devendra Fadnavis said at the inauguration of the Mumbai Fintech Festival.
All the start-ups are welcome: Maharashtra's Principal Secretary (IT)
In February, an RBI panel report recommended introducing a "regulatory sandbox" to foster financial technology innovation.
"In this sandbox, all the startups will be welcome. They can register, they can open their APIs and banks can consume," SVR Srinivas, Principal Secretary (Information Technology), said.
Sandbox is seen as a safe zone to test financial innovation with limited rollout of new products to select customers.
Maharashtra to partner with Andhra Pradesh in fintech space
Srinivas exhorted banks and non-bank lenders to open their APIs in order to help the start-ups in the state.
The government is also starting a virtual fintech registry, he said.
Other states have shown interest in partnering with Maharashtra, Srinivas said, adding an agreement will be signed with the Government of Andhra Pradesh which is also working on developing Vishakhapatnam into a fintech hub.
Maharashtra has given sops to fintech players
CM Fadnavis said that as part of the fintech policy, Maharashtra has given sops like tax benefits, financial incentives, cheaper electricity, and Internet connectivity for industry players.
The state held a blockchain conference last year and lenders like State Bank of India, Yes Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank have already entered into specific tie-ups on that front, Srinivas said.
Maharashtra's efforts aimed at creating an entire ecosystem for fintech
Srinivas said Maharashtra aims to create the entire ecosystem to help the fintech industry flourish, starting with four accelerators. As part of the two-day festival, Maharashtra Government is also holding a hackathon; Srinivas said there will not be more of such hackathons in the future.