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Master Direction on Card Issuance and Conduct Guidelines for 2022 Amended

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has revised its regulations regarding credit and debit cards, effective from March 7, 2024. These modifications aim to enhance transparency and accountability in card usage and payment processes by implementing a robust monitoring system for financial transactions. These regulations modify the provisions detailed in the Master Direction on ‘Credit Card and Debit Card – Issuance and Conduct Directions, 2022‘(“Master Direction”) dated April 21, 2022.

 

Key highlights of the revised regulations include:

  • Applicability to Banks and NBFCs: The revised regulations apply to both credit card issuing banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs). Guidelines concerning debit cards are applicable to all banks operating in India.
  • Flexible Billing Cycle: Cardholders now have the flexibility to choose any date as the start or end of the billing cycle at least once. Additionally, Card-issuers may offer the option to change the billing cycle through various channels.
  • Interest Calculation: Interest charges will only be levied on the remaining balance after accounting for payments, refunds, or reversed transactions.
  • Authorized Payment Methods: Card issuers are required to display authorized payment methods for credit card payments on their websites and billing statements, ensuring clarity for customers.
  • Authentication Framework: Debits to credit card accounts must adhere to the authentication framework established by the Reserve Bank and cannot be processed through any other means or tool.
  • Business Credit Cards: When it comes to business credit cards, the company or business entity holds the responsibility for payment timeframes and refund adjustments, which are determined through mutual agreement between the card issuer and the principal account holder.

The modifications seek to strengthen consumer protection, streamline payment processes, improve transparency and accountability in card usage and payment processes by implementing a system that monitors the flow of money.