RBI's new credit and debit card rules kick in today — Here's everything you need to know

Representative imageBCCL
  • New guidelines for the use of credit and debit cards issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will come into effect starting today, October 1.
  • The new regulations will only apply to debit and credit cards — not any other kind of card.
  • Any new debit or credit cards that are issued will only be operational within India. Customers will have to additionally request the bank for the facility to use the card outside the country.
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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is looking to make online payments more secure by introducing new rules and guidelines that come into effect starting today, October 1.

"As the festive season is around the corner, one can observe a major spike in e-commerce transactions, hence it’s time to also address issues related to real-time fraud detection, digital literacy, and consumer awareness," Bharat Panchal, the Chief Risk Officer for India, Middle East & Africa at Fidelity National Information Service (FIS) told Business Insider.

"The common frauds such as card cloning and illegal transactions on e-commerce websites, wherein card details are stored also need to be restricted,” he added.

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The new rules and regulations only apply to debit and credit cards — not prepaid gift cards, Metro cards, bus passes, or other cards.

"These directions are issued under Section 10(2) of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007)," the RBI said in its notice.

Here are the 5 primary things you should know about how credit and debit cards will work in India starting today:

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  1. All credit cards and debit cards issued going forward will only be enabled for use within India. However, customers can then request the banks to activate that facility on the card.
  2. Those who already own debit and credit cards will have three options to choose from:
    1. Disable the card, not present transactions (domestic and international)
    2. Disable card‘s present transactions (only international)
    3. Contactless transaction rights
  3. If you happen to own a debit or credit card that you haven’t once used, it will likely be disabled soon. All card issuing companies have been asked to disable online payments for such cards by the RBI.
  4. Customers will have more options to customise their card usages like setting a spending limit, opt-in or opt-out services, and contactless transactions.
  5. Users will have around the clock access to change their preferences at any time through any mode of access — mobile app, internet banking, ATMs and interactive voice response (IVR).
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