As per the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) circular, you will soon get online alerts for any transaction you make through your debit/credit card, irrespective of the amount, at various channels. RBI has asked all commercial banks to take steps to put in place a system for such online alerts by 30 June 2011. This will make tracking payments a lot easier for you.
What was the earlier norm?
Until the guidelines were issued, banks were mandated to send online alerts to cardholders for all credit as well as debit “card not present” transactions (when you are not physically present for the transaction such as during online shopping) for values of Rs 5,000 and above. So if you used your credit or debit card at an online shopping website and the transaction amount was Rs 5,000 plus, you got an online alert.
What’s on the cards?
As per the latest guideline, irrespective of the fact whether it is a “card present transaction” (where you are physically present such as at the automated teller machine or ATM) or a “card not present” transaction, you will get an online alert.
This alert is applicable on transactions made over the interactive voice response (IVR) and point of sales (PoS) as well.
The mode of sending online alerts has been left to the banks. So you could get email alerts as well as SMS alerts if your email address and mobile number are registered with the bank. The good part is that most banks are already sending alerts to their customers. For instance, ICICI Bank Ltd and Axis Bank Ltd.
Many customers have direct debit facility activated on their credit cards—to pay utility bills or even insurance premiums. In such cases, too, the bank will send an online alert. A few banks are already providing such a facility.
Why such a move?
There is no doubt that online as well as offline financial fraudulent deals are on the rise. In fact, according to RBI, unauthorized and fraudulent withdrawals at ATMs have also been noticed recently. This step will help arrest possible fraudulent activities on your cards, besides helping you track your payments.