RBI Lifts Curbs On Mastercard, Allows It To Onboard New Customers

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Mumbai: After satisfactory compliance with data storage norms, the RBI on Thursday lifted the restrictions imposed last year on Mastercard and allowed the global payment processor to onboard new customers for debit, credit or prepaid cards in India.

In July last year, the Reserve Bank had taken a major supervisory action on the US-based entity and barred it from issuing new credit, debit and prepaid cards for its failure to comply with data storage guidelines.

“In view of the satisfactory compliance demonstrated by Mastercard Asia / Pacific Pte. Ltd. with the Reserve Bank of India …on Storage of Payment System Data, the restrictions imposed…on on-boarding of new domestic customers have been lifted with immediate effect,” the central bank said in a statement.

Mastercard is a Payment System Operator authorised to operate a card network in the country under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (PSS Act).

As per the norms on Storage of Payment System Data issued in April 2018, all system providers have been directed to ensure that the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them is stored only in India. They were also required to report compliance to RBI and submit a board-approved System Audit Report conducted by a CERT-In empanelled auditor within the specified timelines.

The restrictions had not impacted the services offered to the existing customers of Mastercard in the country. In November last year, the Reserve Bank had also lifted similar restrictions on Diners Club International. The restrictions were imposed in April 2021 for non-compliance with data storage norms.

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