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Enhancing Security of Card Transactions

RBI/2019-20/142
DPSS.CO.PD No.1343/02.14.003/2019-20

January 15, 2020

The Chairman / Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer
All Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) including Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) /
Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) / State Co-operative Banks (StCBs) /
District Central Co-operative Banks (DCCBs) / Payments Banks (PBs) /
Small Finance Banks (SFBs) / Local Area Banks (LABs) /
Authorised Card Payment Networks / Non-Bank PPI issuers

Madam / Dear Sir,

Enhancing Security of Card Transactions

Over the years, the volume and value of transactions made through cards have increased manifold. To improve user convenience and increase the security of card transactions, it has been decided as under:

a) At the time of issue / re-issue, all cards (physical and virtual) shall be enabled for use only at contact based points of usage [viz. ATMs and Point of Sale (PoS) devices] within India. Issuers shall provide cardholders a facility for enabling card not present (domestic and international) transactions, card present (international) transactions and contactless transactions, as per the process outlined in para 1 (c).

b) For existing cards, issuers may take a decision, based on their risk perception, whether to disable the card not present (domestic and international) transactions, card present (international) transactions and contactless transaction rights. Existing cards which have never been used for online (card not present) / international / contactless transactions shall be mandatorily disabled for this purpose.

c) Additionally, the issuers shall provide to all cardholders:

  1. 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, etc.;

  2. the above facility on a 24x7 basis through multiple channels - mobile application / internet banking / ATMs / Interactive Voice Response (IVR); this may also be offered at branches / offices;

  3. alerts / information / status, etc., through SMS / e-mail, as and when there is any change in status of the card.

2. The provisions of this circular are not mandatory for prepaid gift cards and those used at mass transit systems.

3. Issuers and card networks may give wide publicity to the provisions of this circular.

4. These directions are issued under Section 10(2) of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007) and shall come into effect from March 16, 2020.

Yours faithfully,

(P. Vasudevan)
Chief General Manager