The guidelines for debit cards as per RBI’s circular

1. Banks are directed to formulate a comprehensive debit cards issuance policy with the approval of their Boards and issue debit cards to their customers in accordance with this policy. Prior approval of the Reserve Bank is not necessary for banks desirous of issuing debit cards to their customers.

2. Debit cards shall only be issued to customers having Savings Bank/Current Accounts.

3. No bank shall issue debit cards to cash credit/loan account holders. However, it will not preclude the banks from linking the overdraft facility provided along with Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana accounts with a debit card.

4. Banks shall not force a customer to avail debit card facility and shall not link issuance of a debit card to availment of any other facility from the bank.

5. SCBs may issue other form factors in place of a plastic debit card such as wearables after obtaining explicit consent from the customer.

6. Form factors issued in place of a debit card shall be subject to the specific and general guidelines applicable to debit cards.

7. Banks shall provide options for disabling or blocking the form factor through mobile banking, internet banking, SMS, IVR, or any other mode.

8. Banks shall submit a detailed report to the Department of Regulation, Reserve Bank of India, prior to the issuance of any such form factors. Any bank that has already issued such product prior to the effective date of the Master Direction, shall submit a detailed report to the Department of Regulation within 30 days from the effective date.

9. The banks shall undertake a review of their operations/issue of debit cards on a half-yearly basis. The review shall include, inter-alia, card usage analysis including cards not used for long durations and the inherent risks therein.

A debit card is a physical or virtual payment instrument containing a means of identification, linked to a Saving Bank/Current Account which can be used to withdraw cash, make online payments, do PoS terminal/Quick Response (QR) code transactions, fund transfer, etc. subject to prescribed terms and conditions.

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