NRB lowers card withdrawal limit following ATM heist

Published On: September 6, 2019 05:05 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Per day withdrawal limit slashed to Rs 60,000 from Rs 100,000

KATHMANDU, Sept 6: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has lowered the maximum limit for cash withdrawal using debit card.

Issuing a new circular on Thursday, the NRB told all bank and financial institutions (BFIs) to lower withdrawal ceiling to Rs 20,000 per transaction from Rs 25,000. With the new rule in place, debit cardholder of any BFI will not be allowed to withdraw more than Rs 20,000 from ATM kiosk in a single transaction.

Similarly, the central bank has also slashed the maximum single-day withdrawal limit by Rs 40,000. Now, the debit cardholder will not be allowed to withdraw more than Rs 60,000 in a day. Before this, debit cardholders could withdraw up to Rs 100,000 in a day.

The revision in withdrawal limit for cardholders comes in the wake of ATM heist in Kathmandu on Saturday. According to preliminary findings of the NRB, a group of hackers have stolen over Rs 18.9 million by hacking the payment switch of Nepal Electronic Payment System (NEPS) through use of clone debit and credit cards of 17 member banks of the NEPS that use Visa system. Similarly, IRs 1.05 million have been stolen in India from six commercial banks of Nepal on the same day, according to the NRB. While a forensic team of Singapore is investigating the heist, the central bank has decided to lower the maximum limit for the withdrawal as part of its security measure.“We have decided to lower the maximum withdrawal limit as a security measure for card payment,” Bam Bahadur Mishra, chief of the Payment System Department of the NRB, told Republica.

Following the ATM heist, banks have already suspended the facility of withdrawing money from their ATM through cards issued by another banks.

Meanwhile, the NRB has also restricted any BFI or payment service provider from collecting additional charge from their customers while making payment from point of sale (POS) machine.

The central bank, issuing a separate circular on Thursday, told payment service providers, including BFIs, to make arrangement that prohibits departmental stores, marts, hotels, stores or any merchants from collecting additional charges from customers while paying from POS machine.

The central bank has also urged all cardholders to contact the card issuing institution with the bill and receipt if any merchant levies additional charges on them.

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