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New auto-debit rules to kick in from October 1, payments body seeks extension for 'smooth transition': Report

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The change in norms was to come into effect in March this year, but the RBI extended the deadline till September 30 after banks and payment gateways requested more time to comply with the new rules. However, some major private banks have already gone live with the new auto-debit rules.

New auto-debit rules to kick in from October 1, payments body seeks extension for 'smooth transition': Report
The Payments Council of India (PCI) has urged the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to not implement the new auto-debit rules from October 1. The payments body has sought an extension of one or two months for "smooth transition" to new norms, according to a report by The Hindu Business Line.
"We have written to the RBI for a short extension of one or two months to ensure a smooth transition to the new norms. All ecosystem players have been working hard but it will take some more time," PCI Chairman Vishwas Patel was quoted as saying.
He, however, added that the new auto-debit rules are "very positive and consumer-centric."
The change in norms was to come into effect in March this year, but the RBI extended the deadline till September 30 after banks and payment gateways requested more time to comply with the new rules. However, some major private banks have already gone live with the new auto-debit rules.
The objective of the new auto-debit rules is to enhance customer safety during digital transactions.
Under the new rules, introduced in 2019, any auto-debit payment, including the use of the debit card, credit card, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), and Prepaid payment instruments (PPIs), will not be allowed without customer's approval.
For example, if customers have subscribed to an OTT platform that costs Rs 10,000 for six months after paying it online using a debit card, then after the expiration, the OTT platform automatically deducts Rs 10,000 from the account and extends the subscription for another six months.
At present, this process takes place without the consent of the customer. This automatic transaction is prevented only when the customer cancels the subscription before the due date.
However, under the new auto-debit rules, payment platforms will need to inform customers in advance about recurring payments of Rs 5,000 or more. Instead of deducting the money automatically, they will need to send the customer a one-time password (OTP). So, if they don't feed in the OTP, money from their account won't be deducted to extend the subscription to the OTT platform.
In technical terms, this is called introducing an "Additional Factor of Authentication" (AFA) as transactions no longer remain automatic and take place only after authentication from the customer. However, the new auto-debit rules are not applicable to transactions lower than Rs 5,000.
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