Playing catch-up with technology


Laws should ensure the well-being of customers by protecting them, and not Limit their access to financial services, writes Shivli Katyayan

When Greek philosopher Heraclitus (535-475 BC) said “nothing is permanent but change”, little did he know it would perfectly describe the relationship between law and technology more than 2,000 years later. The ancient quote still paints an appropriate picture of a tumultuous modern relationship. The evolution of law has mostly been a race to keep up with technology and to govern the implementation while protecting consumer interests.

Shivli KatyayanGeneral counselPolicybazaar & Group Companies
Shivli Katyayan
General counsel
Policybazaar & Group Companies

Consumer interests, in this context, is not merely about preventing misuse of technology to defraud customers, but also to ensure access to better facilities and economical products. This is especially relevant when it comes to the internet where customers are simultaneously both global and local in nature.

Customers use technology to buy domestic and global products but the laws applicable are local. A prime example of this is the financial technology (fintech) industry. Although there has been remarkable progress in the regulatory and statutory frameworks, regulators need to keep up with the technological changes and address related effects. These inadvertent gaps between regulation and technology trouble the consumer, who is at the receiving end of these laws, which in turn has an impact on the businesses.

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Shivli Katyayan is general counsel of Policybazaar & Group Companies