rbi: RBI extends card tokenisation deadline till September 30, 2022

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday announced the extension of the deadline for tokenisation of debit and credit cards by another three months to September 30, 2022. The RBI had earlier set a deadline of June 30, whereby merchants and payment aggregators had to delete all card details and replace it with tokens.

The regulator said that industry stakeholders have highlighted some issues related to implementation of the framework in respect of guest checkout transactions. Also, number of transactions processed using tokens is yet to gain traction across all categories of merchants, it said. The regulator added that these issues were being dealt with in consultation with the stakeholders.

“This extended time period may be utilised by the industry for, (a) facilitating all stakeholders to be ready for handling tokenised transactions; (b) processing transactions based on tokens; (c) implementing an alternate mechanism(s) to handle all post-transaction activities (including chargeback handling and settlement) related to guest checkout transactions, that currently involve /require storage of CoF data by entities other than card issuers and card networks; and (d) creating public awareness about the process of creating tokens and using them to undertake transactions,” the regulator said.

RBI also encouraged cardholders to tokenise their cards for their own safety. Till date, about 19.5 crore tokens have been created. Opting for creating tokens is voluntary for the cardholders. Those who do not wish to create a token can continue to transact as before by entering card details manually at the time of undertaking the transaction.

Tokenisation is a process by which card details are replaced by a unique code or token, allowing online purchases to go through without exposing sensitive card details.

As per the Reserve Bank of India’s latest order, all merchants must delete customer debit and credit card data on or before June 30 and replace card payments with unique tokens for all online, point-of-sale and in-app transactions.

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ET reported on June 6 that several large online merchants were nervous about the readiness of the ecosystem to handle transaction and tokenisation volumes, while wanting to avoid payment disruptions for consumers.

Several large merchants had told ET earlier that they were unsure about the scalability of the payments network for tokenisation, as they feared disruptions in the payment experiences of consumers.

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