This festive season, play your cards right

Oct 14 2013, 09:49 IST
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RBI has banned zero per cent interest EMIs and has put ‘ifs and buts’ in credit cards transactions. RBI has banned zero per cent interest EMIs and has put ‘ifs and buts’ in credit cards transactions.
SummaryIf shop-till-you-drop is what festivals entail for you, get ready to spend hard cash this time.

smartphone under the zero per cent finance scheme, he’s not entitled to the cash discount of Rs 2,000. The total loss is Rs 3,000. The cost of phone would have come down to Rs 45,000 if he had directly purchased it.

In the second major measure, the RBI said banks not complying with the requirements should compensate the loss incurred by the card holder using card at POS terminals not adhering to the mandated security standards.

“If it is found that the POS terminals are non-compliant as mandated, the issuing bank should pay the disputed amount to the customer within seven working days, failing which a compensation of Rs 100 per day will be payable to the customer from the 8th working day,” the RBI said in a notification.

The law enforcement agencies recently found fraudsters cloned the cards to withdraw money and go on a shopping binge abroad. There were several instances of illegal card-skimming leading to money theft from other bank accounts due to problems in the authentication processes in the jurisdiction where the money got withdrawn.

The RBI says the issuing bank should claim the amount paid by it to the customer from the respective bank which have acquired the POS transaction in question. The acquiring banks have to pay the amount paid by the issuing bank without demur within three working days of the issuing bank raising the claim, failing which the RBI would compensate the issuing bank by debiting the account of the acquiring bank maintained with the bank. The RBI had earlier this year asked banks to bar international usage of debit and credit cards unless customers specifically ask for this feature. Banks have also been asked to enable blocking of cards through a text message request.

ATM and credit card customers have complained that banks were not restoring funds debited to their accounts by cloned cards from distant places. Customers insist that they have not parted with the cards and hence cannot be liable for transactions which the banks hold them responsible for. Customers demand that in a ‘card present scenario’ such distant transactions if not authorised by the customer should immediately be reversed.

In another measure, the RBI directed banks to terminate relationship with merchant establishments which levy a fee as a percentage of the transaction value as charges on debit cards of customers saying such fees are not “permissible and justifiable”.

“There are instances where merchant

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