Choose Card Networks While Getting Your Debit & Credit Cards—New RBI Guidelines

Choose Card Networks While Getting Your Debit & Credit Cards—New RBI Guidelines

17 October, 2023

Do you have a Debit/Credit Card or are you planning to apply for a new one? Now you can choose card networks while getting your Debit or Credit Cards.

Issuing banks have always had the upper hand in the distribution of cards to customers, but Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken necessary steps to promote the interest of the consumers. You can now shift from one network to another if you want. So far, Visa, MasterCard, RuPay, American Express, and Diners Club are the five authorised card networks in the country; customers can shift to any network of their choice provided by the issuing banks. Users with existing cards also have the option to ‘port’ their card to a different card network if they wish to with effective from 1st October 2023.

Understanding the Need for Card Network Preference

The issuing banks/non-banks tie up with authorised card networks to issue Debit Cards, Credit Cards, and Prepaid Cards to their customers. However, the customer had little to no choice in the matter of which card network will they get, and this usually depended on the arrangement between the issuing bank and the card network. However, this arrangement does not provide the customer much choice and may be used to promote a particular service among customers irrespective of their needs.

RBI’s Recent Update on Card Network Choice

According to the recent guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India RBI in the interest of payment system and public interest, the following changes have been implemented:

  • All issuing banks will have to provide eligible customers the option to choose any one card network among the available options. Issuing banks can no longer compel the customer to get a card without giving them options.

  • Issuing banks shall not enter into binding agreements or arrangements with card networks that prevent them from tying up with other card networks.

  • Issuing banks have to partner with more than one card network.

  • Customers can choose their preferred card network at the time of issuance or at any later date.

All existing agreements at the time of amendment or renewal and fresh agreements from 5th July 2023 between card networks and issuing banks have to be in accordance with the guidelines mentioned above.

Choosing the Right Card Network for Credit/Debit Card

Different card networks provide different rewards to the customers and different transaction charges to merchants. You will be able to choose from RuPay, Visa, MasterCard or Diners Club. While American Express is also an authorised card network, the company typically issues its own cards.

Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club are international card networks. These card networks tie-up with numerous industry-leading brands so that cardholders can enjoy discounts and cashbacks on shopping, travel, dining, entertainment, etc. RuPay is the first-of-its-kind global card network of India. RuPay also has tie-ups with numerous merchants so that it can provide offers to the cardholders. Note that as of yet, the RuPay Credit Card is the only Credit Card enabled for UPI transactions.

You can explore different options available on the HDFC Bank’s official website and choose the best one for you by comparing multiple options; make sure to check your eligibility for each card.

Enjoy exclusive perks with HDFC Bank Debit & Credit Cards

With HDFC Bank, you can get access to a range of Debit and Credit Cards, loaded with exclusive features and offers. Contact our customer care representative online or visit the nearest HDFC Bank branch to apply for a new card of your choice or modify your existing one.

​​​​​​​*Terms and conditions apply. The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. Credit Card approvals at the sole discretion of HDFC Bank Limited. Credit Card approvals is subject to documentation and verification as per Bank's requirement. Interest rates are subject to change. Please check with your RM or closest bank branch for current interest rates.

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