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Online payment services of credit, debit cards to be disabled if never used for digital payment- RBI

In a bid to make debit and credit cards more secure, the Reserve Bank of India has introduced new guidelines that have become effective from October 1. Starting from this month, all new debit and credit cards issued by banks will only be enabled for domestic transactions at ATMs and point of sale (PoS) terminals. Experts say the controls for using credit and debit cards that have been brought in will help in curbing frauds and will add an extra layer of security making digital payments secure for banks and card users. RBI has asked all banks and other card-issuing companies to disable online payment services of all debit and credit cards that have never been used for online or contactless transactions both in India and internationally.

If the cardholder wants to use the credit or debit card outside India, then they need to ask the bank to enable international transactions. According to the new guidelines, card users will be able to register preferences (opt-in or opt-out of services, spend limits, etc.) for international transactions, online transactions as well as contactless card transactions. RBI said, “At the time of issue/re-issue, all cards (physical and virtual) shall be enabled for use only at contact-based points of usage within India.” Therefore, debit and credit cards issued by banks will only be enabled for domestic transactions at ATMs and point of sale (PoS) terminals. Keep in mind, that the RBI’s mandate does not include prepaid cards and gift cards. With this new rule, cardholders will have the ability to enable and disable the NFC (contactless) facility, which prior to this had a limit of Rs 2,000 per day without a PIN. Cardholders will also be able to set various transaction limits. Experts say this will save both the customers and the bank time in setting up a global transaction mandate. After these guidelines come into play, cardholders will have to approach banks to enable any facilities including online transactions, international transactions, and contactless transactions in their debit and credit cards. These services won’t be available by default anymore. Also, based on risk perception, banks will have the right to deactivate current cards and reissue them.

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