Come 16 March, an RBI rule will kick in, which will automatically disable any credit or debit card that has never been used for online purposes.
In its 15 January notification, Reserve Bank of India announced a slew of measures to improve convenience and security of the credit and debit cards.
RBI asked banks to allow only domestic card transactions at ATMs and PoS terminals in India at the time of issuance/reissuance of card.
For international transactions, online transactions, card-not-present transactions and contactless transactions, customers will have to separately set up services on their card.
These rules will be applicable for new cards from 16 March, 2020. Those with old cards can decide whether to disable any of these features.
For existing cards, issuers may take a decision, based on their risk perception, whether to disable the card not present (domestic and international) transactions, international transactions and contactless transaction rights. Existing cards which have never been used for online/ international/ contactless transactions shall be mandatorily disabled for this purpose.
Users will have 24×7 access to switch ON/OFF or change all transaction limits via all available channels — mobile application / internet banking / ATMs / Interactive Voice Response (IVR).
Issuers shall provide to all cardholders 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, etc.,
The provisions, however, are not mandatory for prepaid gift cards and those used at mass transit systems.
These instructions assume significance amid rising instances of cyber frauds.