The RBI on Thursday, June 16, lifted the restrictions imposed last year on Mastercard and allowed the global payment processor to onboard new customers for debit, credit or prepaid cards in India, after satisfactory compliance with data storage norms. In July last year, the Reserve Bank had taken a major supervisory action on the US-based entity and barred it from issuing new credit, debit and prepaid cards for its failure to comply with data storage guidelines.
"In view of the satisfactory compliance demonstrated by Mastercard Asia / Pacific Pte. Ltd. with the Reserve Bank of India ...on Storage of Payment System Data, the restrictions imposed...on on-boarding of new domestic customers have been lifted with immediate effect," the central bank said in a statement.
Mastercard is a Payment System Operator authorised to operate a card network in the country under the the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (PSS Act).
Mastercard, in a statement, said, "We welcome and are grateful for today's decision by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), enabling us to resume onboarding of new domestic customers (debit, credit and prepaid) onto our card network in the country, with immediate effect. As we have in our engagement with the RBI, we reaffirm our commitment to support the digital needs of India, its people and its businesses."
"We are glad we have met this milestone and will continue to ensure ongoing delivery against the goals and regulatory requirements that have been established. India is an important market for us, both in terms of the innovation created here and the value we deliver to our customers and partners," the company added.
As per the norms on Storage of Payment System Data issued in April 2018, all system providers have been directed to ensure that the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them is stored only in India.
They were also required to report compliance to RBI and submit a board-approved System Audit Report conducted by a CERT-In empanelled auditor within the specified timelines.
The restrictions had not impacted the services offered to the existing customers of Mastercard in the country.
In November last year, the Reserve Bank had also lifted similar restrictions on Diners Club International. The restrictions were imposed in April 2021 for non-compliance with data storage norms.