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Banks race against time to replace magstripe cards as December 31 deadline nears

18 December, 2018 6:23 AM
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Banks race against time to replace magstripe cards as December 31 deadline nears

The EMV cards, which have a chip embedded in them are considered more secure and less prone to card skimming at ATM machines

Only Europay, Mastercard, Visa (EMV) chip and pin-based debit or credit cards will be valid from January 1, 2019, according to a circular by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The move has been initiated to tackle issue of electronic frauds such as cloning, skimming and misuse of lost cards instances of which have been increasing.

Banks, however are struggling to replace old cards. Only 50-70 percent of the magstripe cards have been replaced so far, according to a report by The Hindu BusinessLine.

Even though the old tags will no longer be valid after December 31, it remains unclear if the magstripe cards will be functional after the deadline.

State Bank of India (SBI) customers who had used their magnetic stripe cards at least once in last 12 months have received new cards under phase one, the report suggests.

“Those who have not used it in the last one year should visit their respective bank branches to collect the new cards,� J Swaminathan Chief General Manager, SBI - Hyderabad Circle, told the newspaper.

All magnetic stripe cards will not be functional after the deadline as per regulatory norms, he added.

While SBI is not charging its customers for the card replacement, some of the other banks are charging fees for new cards.

A magstripe card has a dark magnetic band on the rear side. The swipe card can be read by swiping past a magnetic reading head.


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