As per the RBI Annual report of 2019-20, India saw a massive increase of the number and value of transactions with respect to Credit Cards( 21.1% increase in value), Debit cards(35.6% in value) and Prepaid Payment Instruments i.e. Wallets, Gift cards etc. (increase of 15% in volume). Two major reasons behind this increase in these transactions is
- Internet/ mobile banking becoming easily accessible because of a greater internet penetration
- Debit/credit cards becoming easily accessible by banks
Considering the gravity of this situation, RBI decided to revamp certain guidelines, which will change certain features of certain credit cards and debit cards. It is important to note that these guidelines were in the interest and for the convenience of the user and to increase the
These guidelines, which were titled ‘Enhancing Security of Card Transaction’ and release on January 15th were supposed to be implemented by March 16th, but due to the global pandemic, there was a hindrance to the process. These guidelines issued under Section 10(2) of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007), give out certain rules about certain features relating to the debit/credit card transactions
- By default at the time of issuance/reissuance of a Debit/credit card, the card shall only be allowed to be used at ATMs and Point of sale (POS) devices in India and not internationally. An option to enable these features, including Contactless transactions, shall be provided to user. This decision was taken keeping in view that at a lot of instances people neither knew about these features nor did they use most of these features. However, they rather fell prey to frauds due to a presence of this features and them never knowing about it. One such scenario could be an instance where someone gets ahold of an individual’s card details and does an Online Transaction outside of India, which might not require an OTP for conducting
- For existing card holders, the issuer, based on their risk perception can decide upon disabling these features. In the scenarios where a user who has been issued the card has never used these facilities, such as online (card not present) / international / contactless transactions, the said features shall mandatorily be disabled.
- Additionally, an option shall be provided to card holders as well to enable or disable the above stated facilities or set / modify transaction limits. This features need to be provided to the card holders through multiple channels such as mobile application / internet banking / ATMs / Interactive Voice Response (IVR) or through branches of the banks as well. The customer needs to be alerted about the said change as well.
- However, these provisions are not mandatory for prepaid gift cards and those used at mass transit systems, like those amazon gist cards or metro cards.
People might have seen a lot of these messages as well where they are being warned as to their features being disabled permanently, one doesn’t need to worry about these messages either as the banks are allowed to give a wide publicity to these decisions.