What are RBI’s New Rules for Credit and Debit Cards?


21 Oct 2020 | 5 min read

According to a leading newspaper article, Between October 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019, a span of 92 days, India lost nearly 128 crores in debit and credit fraud. Now the coronavirus crisis has forced us to do almost every transaction online and the cases of scams have also increased correspondingly.

Digital payments should not be a scary thing for consumers. To stop these frauds, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to implement several rules. These rules will be effective from October 1, 2020. These new rules will make it safer to use debit and credit cards. Let’s look at those new rules. 

  1. When a new debit or credit is issued/ reissued, the cards will only be enabled for point of sale(PoS) and at ATM devices located within India. It means, now, you won’t be able to use the card abroad.  
  2. If you are traveling abroad, first, you have to inform the bank. The bank will enable the services to be used outside India for debit or credit card. Once it is enabled, you would be able to use the card. Before these new rules, the bank would issue cards which by default could be used anywhere in the world.  
  3. A bank or the issuer has the responsibility to disable the existing debit and credit card based on their risk perception. The card would be disabled for domestic, international, or contactless transaction rights.  
  4. If there is a debit or credit card, which has never been used for an online transaction domestically or internationally, it will be disabled automatically as per the RBI instructions.  If you want to enable the online transaction, you will have to contact the issuer to allow it to.  
  5. As per the new rules, the cardholder can register for preferences including spend limits, opt-in and opt-out services, contactless transactions, and international transactions.  
  6. The users now have 24*7 access to switch OFF/On or change the transaction limits. It could be done via Interactive Voice Response (IVR), ATMs, Internet banking, or mobile application.
  7. To enable the contactless transaction easily, now many banks and lending institutions will enable debit and credit card with near field communication (NFC) technology.  You do not need to Swipe or insert the card to make the transaction at the point of sale terminal. You will also have the option to enable or disable the NFC feature as per your wish.
  8. You could easily set up a transactional limit on your credit and debit cards.
  9. The rules are only applicable for debit and credit cards. Leaving aside the prepaid gift cards or transit cards such as the metro card.  
  10. The directions are issued under Section 10(2) of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007). 

Here’s how you could manage the debit and credit services

  1. First, log in to your bank account via the mobile app or on the official website of the lender. 
  2. Go to the 'Cards' section and choose 'manage cards.'
  3. There will be two options, ‘Domestic and International.' 
  4. Choose in which you want to make a change.
  5. Choose the option. 
  6. You could limit the transactions or close a particular transaction. 

How the new rules will benefit you as an individual user

  1. There are many international e-commerce websites that do not ask for a One-time password or CVV to make the transaction. The rules will stop the international usage of a debit or credit card from making sure there is no misuse.
  2. Since the new rules allow a user to create a transaction limit, it will reduce the possible danger. If the card is stolen, the thieves won’t be able to drain the account. 

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