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RBI's new guidelines for Debit and Credit Cards, effective today



To combat the ever increasing financial frauds and to make online payments safer, RBI (Reserve Bank of India) has issued new guidelines for debit and credit cards effective from 1st October 2020.


 The new guideline for Debit and Credit Card by RBI-

  •  International Transactions to be Optional-

According to this users can now either opt in Or opt out for International Transactions. The bank can disable old cards for international payments or issue new cards for the customers choosing to indulge in international exchange. 

Gaurav Chopra, CEO, IndiaLends says, “For new cards being issued, the users will only be able to use these services after registering for them. The main reason for this is to prevent card fraud and misuse and give the consumer better power to manage his or her finances. With spend and withdrawal caps, even if an individual becomes a victim of cyber or ATM fraud, the damage will be limited.” 

  • Disable cards that have never been used for online payment- 

RBI has directed banks to disable the online payment service for all those debit and credit cards that have never been used for online money exchange. This does not include gift cards or prepaid cards.

Rajesh Mirjankar, MD and CEO, InfrasoftTech, says, “RBI has mandated banks to incorporate risk-mitigation features in customers’ debit cards and credit cards from 1st October. With this new feature, consumers can set up a limit on their credit cards and debit cards. Cardholders will have the option to switch on and off their debit and credit cards for any facility – ATM, NFC, POS, or eCommerce (card-not-present) transaction.” 

  • NFC (Near Field Communication) Or Contactless payment will also be optional- 

Users will now be able to switch on and off their NFC payment whenever they want. Suppose on a trip to Korea they switched on NFC, they can opt out of it on returning to India. Cardholders can also set a limit to NFC payment, earlier it was Rs.2000 per day now they can increase or decrease as per to their preference.

 Mirjankar, of InfrasoftTech, says “The apps that banks have already rolled out with these features allow customers to set separate limits for each channel such as ATM, PoS, card-not-present, and NFC, in addition, to be able to revise downward their overall card limit.”

Know ways to avoid credit or debit card frauds


Since 2016, when India decided to go cashless the growth of online payments increased exponentially but not without risks. Online payments seem quick and easy but it's not hard for your financial data to be stolen. With every transaction and swipe you're putting your credit to risk.


In 2019, India faced a banking hazard as 32 lakh debit cards from 19 banks, including HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and Axis Bank, were compromised with a loss of 1.3 crores. The cyber-world is littered with examples like this, people often think it's inevitable that they will be duped at least once, that even if they are careful their credit cards will be compromised at some point. But it doesn't have to be so, with the following measures we can reduce the risk of debit and credit frauds to a great extent.

Register for alerts

The best way to prevent a bogus transaction is to set up email or SMS alerts, as they will at least give you a warning as to when a transaction is made or tried. And if the said transaction is not by you then you can take action immediately.

Don't save your card information on websites

It's not foolproof but it would certainly clog some loopholes. It's better to limit the sites where you save your card details and know all the sites you have them saved on. Best to save them on trustable sites.

Be careful

The Internet is full of baits so be prudent while clicking on any too-good-to-be-true deals. Especially the ones that ask for your card details. Be paranoid of fishy email links and consider them as red flags.

Log out

Its cautious to log out of sites and apps made for e-commerce and never save any passwords on your phone.

Check Statements Regularly

Check your bank statements for any suspicious activity, so you can catch one early on. Sometimes, the fraudsters might use the card multiple times so as soon as you find something suspicious report it and cancel the card via the bank.

Use Online Wallets and UPI

As online wallets and UPI doesn't disclose your account details or card details, it's better to use them instead of credit or debit cards for e-commerce.

 It goes without saying that always air on the side of caution and never disclose your financial details to anyone. With a few careful steps you can reduce the risk of falling into a debit fraud and even if you do many banks offer insurance for such cases, so go through the bank's policies thoroughly; they may save you a dime a dozen.