Customers are now allowed to choose their own Card Network: RBI

According to the new circular issued, card users are allowed to choose their option of card network from multiple sources like Master Card, RuPay, etc. The banks are asked to stop entering into exclusive agreements with Card networks.

Customers are now allowed to choose their own Card Network: RBI

New Deli: The choice of network for a card issued to a customer is decided by the card issuer (bank / non-bank) and is linked to the arrangements that the card issuers have with card networks in terms of their bilateral agreements. On a review, it is observed that some arrangements existing between card networks and card issuers are not conducive to the availability of choice for customers.

In exercise of the powers conferred under Section 18 read with Section 10(2) of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007), the RBI is satisfied that it is necessary and expedient, in the interest of payment system and public interest, to provide necessary leverage to customers using credit cards.

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Therefore, Card issuers shall not enter into any arrangement or agreement with card networks that restrain them from availing the services of other card networks. While card issuers shall provide an option to their eligible customers to choose from multiple card networks at the time of issue.  For existing cardholders, this option may be provided at the time of the next renewal. Card issuers and card networks shall ensure adherence to the above requirements in existing agreements at the time of amendment or renewal thereof, and fresh agreements executed.

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Meanwhile,  card issuers who issue credit cards on their authorized card network are excluded from the applicability of the circular. The directions above mentioned shall not apply to credit card issuers with the number of active cards issued by them being 10 lakh or less in number and the directions shall be effective six months from the date of this circular.

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