RBI prescribes $500 limit on international cards to check fraud

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has prescribed a threshold limit of $500 for all new international cards – both credit and debit - in a bid to check frauds. RBI has also asked banks to refrain from issuing cards with global access unless specifically sought by the customer.

''All the active Magstripe (magnetic stripe) international cards issued by banks should have threshold limit for international usage.  The threshold should be determined by the banks based on the risk profile of the customer and accepted by the customer (by June 30, 2013),'' RBI said in a notification issued on Thursday.

''Till such time this process is completed an omnibus threshold limit (say, not exceeding USD 500) as determined by each bank may be put in place for all debit cards and all credit cards that have not been used for international transactions in the past'', it added.

RBI's directive comes in the backdrop of cyber-attacks becoming more unpredictable and electronic payment systems becoming vulnerable to new types of misuse.

RBI said such steps are imperative for banks to minimise the impact of such attacks and to arrest or minimise the damage.

RBI has advised banks to make sure that all new debit and credit cards are issued only for domestic usage unless international use is specifically sought by the customer. Such cards enabling international usage will have to be essentially EMV Chip and Pin enabled. (By 30 June 2013)