All you need to know about RBI's new rules for debit and credit cards

Given the push for digitisation of payments, there has been a surge in the volume and value of card transactions throughout the country, particularly in the last few months. In a bid to curb the increasing number of cyber frauds, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a new set of rules for debit and credit cards in January 2020. These measures are aimed at controlling the misuse of debit and credit cards while enhancing the security of card transactions and user safety and convenience. 

So, what are the new rules that the RBI has issued for debit and credit cards, and how will they impact users? 

1. Only domestic card transactions applicable

The RBI has ordered card issuers to allow only domestic card transactions at ATMs and PoS (Point of Sale) terminals in India at the time of issuance or re-issuance of cards. What this means is— if your bank has issued you a new debit or credit card, after March 16, 2020, it will only allow withdrawal of cash from domestic ATMs or swiping it at PoS terminals in India. 

2. Setting up additional services separately

If you want additional functions on your card (those issued after March 16, 2020) such as— international transactions, online payment for purchases on e-commerce websites or via phone, set up recurring payments and contactless transactions, you will have to separately activate such services on your card through your banking app, internet banking or by calling or visiting your bank branch. 

3. Existing cardholders need to enable services 

If you have not yet used your existing debit or credit card (issued before March 16, 2020) for online, international, contactless and card-not-present transactions, these services will be mandatorily blocked. You will have to contact your bank to activate these services. For your HDFC Bank Credit Card and Debit Card, you can log in to NetBanking and activate these services. 

3. Set transaction limits

According to RBI, you can now modify your transaction limit within your overall card limit. This would apply to domestic and international transactions, at points of sale (PoS), ATMs, for online transactions and contactless transactions. If you are using an HDFC Bank Card, you can avail this facility 24x7 through MobileBanking, NetBanking, ATMs, and at the bank branch. 

5. Receive notification from the bank 

There is no need to panic about not being able to use your card or not knowing what the status is. Your bank will send you an SMS or email to notify you about the changes made to the status of your card or regarding any service that is activated or deactivated. 

However, the new rules will not affect prepaid gift cards and those used at mass transit systems. On the whole, the implementation of these new safety rules can help ensure better security of your money and data while making all kinds of card transactions. ​​​​​​​