In a move aimed at enhancing digital security, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks and other card-issuing companies to provide a facility to customers to switch on and off their debit or credit cards.
As the volume and value of transactions made through cards have increased manifold over the years, the RBI also said that at the time of issue or re-issue, all cards (physical and virtual) should be enabled for use only at contact-based points of usage [ATMs and Point of Sale (PoS) devices] within India.
In a circular while prescribing certain norms, the RBI said issuers should provide cardholders a facility for enabling card not present (domestic and international) transactions, card-present (international) transactions and contactless transactions. Card not present essentially means online transactions.
“…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 should be provided on a 24×7 basis through multiple channels,” it added.
The central bank further said that the channels should include mobile applications, internet banking, automated teller machines, or interactive voice response. It has also asked providers to alert or send information to customers through SMS or e-mail whenever there is any change in the status of the card.
The RBI also said that for existing cards, issuers may take a decision, based on their risk perception, whether to disable the card for online transactions or not.
“Existing cards which have never been used for online (card not present)/ international/ contactless transactions shall be mandatorily disabled for this purpose,” the RBI said. The instructions, however, are not mandatory for prepaid gift cards and those used at mass transit systems.