With the use of credit and debit cards increasing over the years, the Reserve Bank of India has issued new rules to increase the security of card transactions and improve user convenience. These directions have been issued under Section 10(2) of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 and will come into effect from March 16, 2020.
Here’s what you need to know about the new rules for your credit and debit cards:
‘On and off’ facility
Card issuers need to give cardholders the facility to switch on and off their debit or credit cards at any given point. Cardholders should also be able to modify transaction limits within their overall card limit for all types of transactions.
That would include domestic and international transactions, at points of sale, ATMs, for online transactions and contactless transactions.
This facility, RBI has mandated, should be provided on a 24x7 basis through the bank’s mobile application, internet banking, ATMs, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and at a bank’s branch or office.
Every cardholder should be alerted through SMS or e-mail, as and when there is any change in status of the card.
For new cards
The RBI has said that while issuing new cards or reissuing a card, all cards should only be enabled for contact-based points of usage within India. This means that your credit and debit cards can only be used at ATMs and card swiping machines where you are physically present.
To be able to use your card internationally, for contact-less transactions and card-not-present transactions (domestic and international), you will have to have these services separately enabled on your card by your bank.
A card-not-present transaction is one where one doesn’t physically give their card to transact or pay. This would include all online payments, or transactions where your card number has to be typed in.
Existing card holders
While the above rules are for new cards, for your existing cards, RBI has asked the issuers of the cards, which would be banks, to decide whether to disable any of the optional features mentioned above. This decision, RBI says can be taken based on their risk perception.
That would include card-not-present transactions (domestic and international), international transactions and contact-less transactions.
“Existing cards which have never been used for online, international and contactless transactions shall be mandatorily disabled for this purpose,” RBI said in a notice.
The provisions of the RBI circular are not mandatory for prepaid gift cards and those used in mass transit systems.