Punching PIN must for debit card transactions from December 1

Punching PIN must for debit card transactions from December 1

Debit card holders from December 1  are required to punch in their PIN numbers every time they make a transaction, a move aimed at minimising frauds.

In June, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had extended the deadline for implementation of mandatory PIN punching at point-of-sales (PoS) and merchant outlets till November 30 following representation of banks.

"Our back-end system is in place and we have made changes in all our PoS and merchant outlets to accept PIN (basically ATM PIN) from tomorrow," said Parag Rao, head of card payment products and merchant acquiring service at HDFC Bank.

"We have around 3 lakh PoS terminals across the country," he said. He also said the bank has informed all its customers through all channels including SMS and mailers.

As part of awareness drive, SBI has in a notice asked its customers not to handover ATM-cum-debit card to any person. It also advised its customers to not keep any records of the PIN in physical form.

The PIN is another layer of security for the debit card, according to a senior Canara Bank official.

First, merchants will swipe the cards at a PIN-enabled PoS terminals and punch in the transaction amount. That will be followed by customers entering their PINs to complete the transaction.

As for credit cards, this requirement has been made mandatory for international transactions, including on the internet.

In such cases, users will have to replace their existing credit cards with the EMV chip card and get a PIN.

Increased use of credit and debit cards has led to rise in frauds, especially in the case of lost or stolen cards.

Also, there have been reports of data on cards being compromised and cards skimmed/counterfeited.

To deal with this, the RBI asked banks to comply with all security features such as EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip on cards, real time fraud monitoring system, use of PIN, limit on transactions and the like by November 30.

The apex bank had in September, 2011 issued the guidelines for additional security features with a view to guarding card holders against cyber frauds and other misuse.