(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

Banks can no longer issue contactless cards by default to users: RBI

  • RBI asks banks to allow only domestic card transactions at ATMs and PoS terminals in India at the time of issuance/reissuance of card
  • Existing cards which have never been used for online, international or in contactless transactions, will see such facilities disabled mandatorily

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday restricted banks from issuing contactless credit and debit cards by default for all cardholders and said that this facility along with international transactions will have to be enabled by the user.

The central bank said that at the time of issue or re-issue, all cards (physical and virtual) shall be enabled for use only at contact based points of usage like automated teller machines (ATMs) and point of sale (PoS) devices within India. RBI said that over the years, the volume and value of transactions made through cards have increased manifold and this decision is expected to improve user convenience and increase the security of card transactions.

For existing cards, RBI said the issuers may decide, based on their risk perception, whether to disable the card not present (domestic and international) transactions, card present (international) transactions and contactless transaction rights.

However, for existing cards which have never been used for online, international or in contactless transactions, will see such facilities disabled mandatorily.

The issuers, RBI said, will have to provide an option to switch on or off and set or modify transaction limits for all types of transactions – domestic and international. The facility should be available round the clock through multiple channels - mobile application, internet banking, ATMs, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and may also be offered at branches, it said.

“The provisions of this circular are not mandatory for prepaid gift cards and those used at mass transit systems," said RBI.

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