India's New Approach to Personal Data-Sharing

Over the past decade, India’s investments in its digital financial infrastructure—known as “India Stack”—have sped up the large-scale digitization of people’s financial lives. As more and more people begin to conduct transactions online, questions have emerged about how to provide millions of customers adequate data protection and privacy while allowing their data to flow throughout the financial system. Data-sharing among financial services providers (FSPs) can enable providers to more efficiently offer a wider range of financial products better tailored to the needs of customers, including low-income customers. However, it is important to ensure customers understand and consent to how their data are being used.

India’s solution to this challenge is account aggregators (AAs). AAs manage consent and serve as the pipes through which data flow among FSPs. When a customer gives consent to a provider via the AA, the AA fetches the relevant information from the customer’s financial accounts and sends it via secure channels to the requesting institution. This report describes India’s approach to AAs and discusses implications for other countries that aim to promote digital financial inclusion while ensuring data protection and privacy.

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By Leena Datwani , Anand Raman