This is why your credit/debit card may be blocked after 30th September

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Why your credit/debit card may be blocked after 30th September 2020

I am sure many of us got an email/sms saying ‘ Your xxxx card will be disabled for online /e-commerce, contactless and/or international transactions as a precaution’. I see many people getting confused why all of sudden my credit/debit card is getting disabled?

Well, it’s not a surprise. On January 15, 2020; RBI issued a circular for all authorities issuing debt/credit card to implement enhanced security features to prevent fraudulent transactions. RBI has noticed that customer’s credit/debit card was by default enabled for doing e-commerce/online transactions which was exploited by many scammers. Scammers were just getting the details of the credit/debit card from the customer and scam then for huge sum of money.

As part of the circular ; RBI has asked the authorities to introduce stringent measures to curb the scam which was ever increasing day by day.

why your credit/debit card may be blocked
why your credit/debit card may be blocked after 30th September

What does the RBI circular on Enhancing Security of Card Transactions say?

Source – RBI circular

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 24×7 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.

If you notice from above RBI has asked authorities to disable the online transactions for the cards which was never used for any online transactions. Also, RBI has asked the issuers to do a risk perception for their existing customers and enable/disable the online transitions.

It seems that some bank have taken a stand that they will by default disable all the cards for any online transactions irrespective of the risk perceptions this is why a large number of cards are getting disabled for online transactions after 30th September 2020.

How to enable your credit/debit card for online transactions?

You don’t need worry about your card getting disabled after 30th September. RBI has mandated the card issuers to provide a facility where customers can go online and enable their cards for online transactions. Customers should be able to decide which all facilities they want to enable on their credit/debit card. for example- few people may only want to enable . Some of the examples of how to enable/disable credit/debit card are as below:-

How to enable your credit/debit card for online transactions in ICICI bank

When you login into your ICICI bank personal banking login screen; you will see the manage card section under credit cards are which allows you to enable/disable facilities for your credit card. Screenshot for the same is as below:-

How to enable credit card in ICICI bank
How to enable credit card in ICICI bank

How to enable your credit/debit card for online transactions in CITI bank

For CITI bank, you will have a manage card section in the menu option which will look like below:-

How to enable credit card in CITI bank
How to enable credit card in CITI bank

Other banks may have similar type of manage card section to enable their customers to manage their preferences.

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Will this move by disabling the credit/debit cards prevent frauds?

The online world is ever changing. The fraudsters are finding new ways to scam people everyday but this move by RBI to disable credit/debit card is the right step forward. The problem we have is by default every customer’s credit/debt card is enabled for online transaction. Many people just share their card information with out giving a second thought which leads to scams. This step by RBI will help immensely for those people who do not use their cards for online purchases.

What impacts will the RBI circular have customers?

Many people are finding it as a surprise that their cards are getting disabled. I assume a lot of people will find on 1st October that their cards are not working online anymore and they have a short term panic. This may lead to floods of call into banking support system.

What can I do to prevent my credit/debit card getting disabled?

You can just simply login to your banks/card issuers portal and set your preferences for online transactions to prevent your card getting disabled.

How to enable only domestic transactions and disable international transactions on debit/credit card?

Every card issuer now have to provide a feature online for their customers to enable/disable domestic, ATM, POS, online shopping and international transactions. You can just login to your card issuer’s portal and enable/disable the feature you want enabled/disabled.

Is it safe to enable international transactions on debit/credit card?

If you frequently visit international countries then you can enable your credit/debit card for international transactions but if you do not travel international countries then you must ensure to disable the international transactions feature on your credit/debit card. This will prevent any fraudulent activity that may happen on your card.

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