In a bid to hasten the process of penetration of pre-paid instruments, the Reserve Bank of India said that banks may issue debit cards, including co-branded debit cards, without seeking prior approval from it.

The RBI also prohibited banks from issuing offline-debit cards.

“Banks which are issuing offline debit cards may conduct a review of their offline debit card operations and discontinue operations of such cards within a period of six months.

“Banks may issue only online debit cards, including co-branded debit cards, where there is an immediate debit to the customers’ account, and where straight-through processing is involved,” RBI said.

CUSTOMER PRIVACY AND PROTECTION

In a move that will put an end to the practice of banks’ pestering customers with their credit card offers, the central bank ordered that banks should not dispatch a card to a customer, unless solicited.

In the case of loss of card, the customer must inform the bank immediately.

To encourage quick blocking of the card in case of loss, the RBI said, “The cardholder shall bear the loss sustained up to the time of notification to the bank of any loss, theft or copying of the card but only up to a certain limit (of fixed amount or a percentage of the transaction agreed upon in advance between the cardholder and the bank), except where the cardholder acted fraudulently, knowingly or with extreme negligence.”

satyanarayan.iyer@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 13, 2012)
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