Photo of cardholders made mandatory on debit, credit cards

Published On: March 6, 2017 09:56 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 6: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has made it mandatory for bank and financial institutions (BFIs) and payment service providers (PSPs) to put photo of cardholder on debit, credit, prepaid and other electronic payment cards. 

Issuing a directive on operation of electronic payment card recently, the central bank said that electronic payment cards must have a photo of the cardholder as well as ‘Nepal’. Similarly, the cards must have ‘Nepal’ inscribed on them.

While cards of some BFIs already have photos of cardholders, the new provision will make photo identity compulsory for all electronic payment cards issued by BFIs and PSPs.

The new directive allows the licensed PSPs to issue prepaid cards on Nepali currency while ‘B’ and ‘C’ class development banks and financial companies can issue other payment cards except credit cards. ‘A’ class commercial banks, however, are allowed to issue debit, prepaid cards as well as credit cards.

The central bank has also opened the license for providing payment service providers. It is in the process of analyzing the applications it had received for payment related services.
Nearly seven dozen companies, including BFIs, payment service providers and payment system operators, have sought license from the central bank to provide payment related services. Issuing a notice on August 4, NRB had instructed all the companies, which have been providing payment-related services, to apply for the license within 35 days of the publication of the notice.

The directive also lays down policy and procedures for BFIs and PSPs on issuance and operation of electronic payment cards. According to the directive, BFIs and PSPs should clearly state fees and service charge incurred while making transactions from the card, and interest and fines in the agreement with the clients. They will not be allowed to charge renew fees from the cardholders until the validity of the card expires.

The central bank has also made it mandatory for BFIs and PSPs to send SMS alert to the client after a transaction is completed, while they should provide email alert if clients has requested for such service. If the telephone number or email is not updated or missing of any client, who has been using the card before this guideline, BFIs and PSPs should update the contact number/email within three months. 

Amid rising reports about cases of technical glitches of debit of balance from the card holder’s account even though transaction is not completed while dispensing cash from ATM machine or payments not completed in PoS, the central bank has set a deadline for settlement of such transactions. For example, if the issuer and acquirer is the same institution, the settlement should be completed on the same day, while it should not be more than seven days if issuer and acquirer are different institutions. If issuer or acquirer is a foreign institution, such settlement should be completed within 90 days.

Leave A Comment