How to Ensure the Safety of Your Credit Card

Securing credit card

The use of credit cards in India has been rising every year. The credit card market is now full of choices from different categories like travel, shopping, entertainment and more. Customers have also smartened up in their research to find and compare credit cards in India. However, with the rise in usage, there has also been a rise in fraudulent transactions on credit cards. Even if you have one of the best credit cards in India, the risk of fraud like phishing, skimming, ID theft, etc. does not go down. As a customer, you must tread with caution while using your credit card online as well as offline.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently issued a new directive for credit card and debit card usage which will be effective from 16th March 2020. This move is intended to make card transactions secure for the users. The following new rules have been issued-

For New Credit Cards

  • At the time of issuance/reissuance of credit and debit cards, only domestic transactions will be allowed on the cards at ATMs and POS terminals.
  • Users will have to separately enable services for contactless transactions, online transactions and international transactions.
  • All cardholders will have the facility to set or modify the transaction limit on their cards for international, contactless, POS, ATM and online transactions. They can also switch on/off these services on their card from time to time.

For Existing Credit Cards

  • Cards that have never been used for online, international and contactless transactions will be disabled for the service mandatorily.
  • Card issuing banks/NBFCs can take decisions whether they would enable these services based on the risk perception.

The above rules are not applicable to mass transit cards or prepaid gift cards.

Tips to Keep Your Credit Card Safe

Despite such modifications by the government and card issuers, ultimately it is your duty to keep your card information safe and secure. Here are a few ways how you can ensure safe transactions on your credit card both online and offline.

1. Change your PIN/Passwords regularly

It is always advisable to change your credit card PIN once in a few months. Also, do not create a PIN that people can easily guess such as your date of birth, last 4 digits of the card, etc. Regularly changing the PIN will make your credit card less susceptible to unauthorized usage. Do not keep the same PIN for all your credit cards. Also, needless to mention, you should never share your credit card PIN with anyone.

2. Do not use your card on suspicious websites

When using your credit card online, you must always ensure that the website is secure. Never provide your card details on any website or mobile app that seems suspicious in any way. A good way to ensure this is to check whether the URL starts with “https” and a lock symbol on the left end of the address bar. There are websites that have not put proper security mechanisms in place which makes your card details easily available to hackers. You should also avoid using your card details on a public computer like in a cyber café.

3. Do not open suspicious links on your PC

A lot of us have credit card details saved on multiple websites on our personal computer. This is why it is important to ignore fraud emails that ask you to click on a link. Even if the link says that the email is from your bank, you must never open it if you doubt something suspicious. These can be scams and may also release viruses into your computer making it more vulnerable to phishing attacks.

4. Always check your credit card statements

You should always check your monthly credit card statements to check if there is any unauthorized transaction. Every time you make a payment, you would get SMS alerts by the bank about the same. You must keep these messages as they could be required in case a fraudulent transaction has been made on your card and you report the same to the issuer.

5. Report the loss of your card immediately

You must immediately inform the bank about your lost credit card or if you notice a transaction that you did not make. The sooner you inform the better it is for you. As per RBI, your liability is zero if you report within 3 days of card loss or fraud. If you inform in 4-7 days of card loss/fraud, you will be liable to pay the lower of either the transaction amount or 10,000 (for cards with limit up to 5 Lakh) or 25,000 (for cards with limit more than 5 Lakh). And if you wait beyond 7 days, the liability amount will be the one decided by the bank’s board-approved policy.

What is the credit card issuer’s role in ensuring secure transactions?

You may find the SMS Alerts from banks annoying but they are for your own financial good. Banks are required to make it compulsory for all customers to register for SMS Alerts and e-mail alerts for ll transactions whether it online, POS or ATM. Customers who do not share their mobile number will not be offered any service other than ATM withdrawals from debit cards.

Banks also keep updating the security system on their online banking portal and mobile app so that there is least possibility of data breach.

Bottom Line

As we have mentioned above, RBI is continuously working towards making online and offline transactions more secure for the users. Tightening the rules around contactless and card not present transactions is a major step in this direction. In addition to the government’s efforts, it is also your responsibility to maintain the privacy of your card even with your closest friends. When swiping the card at a POS terminal, do not let the card go out of sight and do not hand it over to someone else. Being cautious is the only possible way you can keep your credit cards safe from fraudulent transactions.