Punjab National Bank (PNB) Maestro debit cards holders will face a card blockage if they fail to replace it with a more secure EMV chip based card by the end of this month. The bank will not charge anything for the replacement and it will be provided free of cost. “If you are having Maestro debit card, get it replaced free of cost with a new EMV chip based debit card from any PNB branch. All Maestro cards issued by PNB will be blocked or hotlisted on July 31, 2017 for security based reasons,” the bank said in a communication to its customers.
The replacement is as per RBI advisory issued in 2015, asking all the banks to migrate to a much secured EMV chip based cards, an official of the bank said. The bank has identified that there are about one lakh customers with old Maestro debit cards and has started sending them SMSes as well, an official of the bank said.
Presently, PNB’s card base stands at around 5.65 crore. “However, we have excluded those customers who are not using these Maestro debit cards at all with not even a single transaction in a year as making of cards involves cost as well as time,” the official said.
As per RBI advisory, existing magnetic stripe only cards need to be replaced with EMV chip and pin based cards by December 31, 2018, irrespective of the validity period of the cards. And from January 31, 2016 onwards, banks are directed to issue only EMV based debit and credit cards. Card replacement is important, keeping in mind digital drive of the government that has led to a drastic rise in debit card usage.
“Now, people are taking interest in using debit cards. Young generation definitely use it, but people over 40 years of age are also using it and taking help from children to learn card usage,” the official said.