RBI issues new guidelines for credit, debit cards; move aims to prevent digital transaction frauds

  • RBI said at the time of issue or re-issue, all cards should be enabled for use only at contact-based points of usage within India

  • Issuers should provide cardholders a facility for enabling card not present transactions, card present transactions and contactless transactions

  • The latest instructions, however, are not mandatory for prepaid gift cards and those used at mass transit systems

Mumbai: The RBI on Wednesday asked banks and other card-issuing companies to provide facility to customers to switch on and off their debit or credit cards, a move aimed at enhancing security for digital transactions.

As over the years, the volume and value of transactions made through cards have increased manifold, the RBI also said that at the time of issue or re-issue, all cards (physical and virtual) should be enabled for use only at contact-based points of usage [ATMs and Point of Sale (PoS) devices] within India.

 RBI issues new guidelines for credit, debit cards; move aims to prevent digital transaction frauds

Representational image. Reuters

Issuers should provide cardholders a facility for enabling card not present (domestic and international) transactions, card present (international) transactions and contactless transactions, the RBI said in a circular while prescribing certain norms.

Card not present refers to online transactions.

"...facility to switch on/off and set/modify transaction limits (within the overall card limit, if any, set by the issuer) for all types of transactions — domestic and international, at PoS/ATMs/ online transactions/contactless transactions" should be provided on a 24x7 basis through multiple channels, it said.

The channels should include mobile application, internet banking, automated teller machines (ATMs), or interactive voice response.

The RBI further said that for existing cards, issuers may take a decision, based on their risk perception, whether to disable the card not present (domestic and international) transactions, card-present (international) transactions and contactless transaction rights.

"Existing cards which have never been used for online (card not present)/ international/ contactless transactions shall be mandatorily disabled for this purpose," it added.

The latest instructions, however, are not mandatory for prepaid gift cards and those used at mass transit systems, the RBI added.

The latest instructions assume significance amid rising instances of cyber frauds.

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Updated Date: Jan 16, 2020 11:17:45 IST