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Your Debit Card Is Now Safer

Debit cards have changed the way we transact. We can use this plastic card for buying things online, use at various point-of-sale (PoS) and withdraw cash.

The acceptance of debit card has increased manifold and most people have at least one debit card in their wallet. Given its popularity and ease of access, it has become important to take care of precautionary measures so that there is no misuse of the facility.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in a notification in January issued new rules to improve security features of the debit card. It segregates the facilities of a debit card into different facilities such as cash withdrawal, PoS transactions, online transactions and contactless transactions.

Transactions at PoS terminal include the transactions done through the card swipe machine available at different merchant outlets such as shopping malls, supermarkets and other stores, online transactions include payment through net banking or mobile banking app at online stores and contactless transactions include payments through e-wallets, UPI platforms and contactless use of the debit card at PoS.    

It comes into effect from March 16. The new rules will impact new debit card customers and existing debit card holders differently.

Here’s how the new rules will impact you:

Cards Issued after 16th March 

Customers can use new debit cards for domestic transactions at ATMs and PoS terminals

In the past, debit cardholders could access or carry out different categories of transactions such as online, PoS and international transactions. This will change as RBI has asked banks to issue debit cards for domestic transactions at ATMs and PoS terminals.

Opt for other required facilities

We all use our debit card for different purposes. While few customers use their debit card solely for online transactions, few individuals rarely carry out online transactions and prefer to use it to withdraw cash.

For any other facilities such as international transactions, online transactions, card-not-present transactions and contactless payments, customers have to opt for these services. These rules will apply to new cards issued after 16th March.

You can enable these facilities through your mobile banking app, internet banking, or by calling the bank’s toll-free number or by visiting the nearest bank branch.

After you have revised these facilities, you will receive an SMS about the change. You can change it at any time as customers will get 24/7 access to change it through mobile banking app, internet banking, interactive voice response (IVR) etc.  

Set Transaction Limits 

You can also opt for switch on-off facility on their cards for any specific facility such as ATM transaction, online transactions. Customers can also set transactions limits for domestic or international usage. For domestic transactions, you can set a maximum limit for cash withdrawal, retail transactions, and online transactions. For cards activated for international use, cardholders can set a limit for cash withdrawals and retail/online transactions. 

Existing card users 

To make debit cards safe, RBI has issued banks to disable online/international/contactless transactions on existing cards with no online/international/contactless transaction history by March 16, 2020.

According to their preference, customers can also disable certain facilities available on their cards. After the change, you will receive an SMS from your bank informing about it. You may not receive any message if online transactions or international transactions are disabled from your debit card.  

You don’t have to worry if your online transaction or international transaction is disabled as you can reactivate it through net banking, mobile banking or by calling the customer care number.


With the increase in debit card usage, fraud cases have also increased. The new rules issued by RBI will help to curb these issues to a large extent. Customers can now opt for the services they require and disable other services. They can also enable or disable these facilities as and when required. Cardholders can set transaction limits for different purposes. A text message is sent if there is any change in the facility or feature. So go ahead, and secure your debit card.      


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