The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday said that it has lifted an 11-month ban on issuance of new cards by MasterCard, after the card network met with the required regulatory compliances on data storage guidelines.
“In view of the satisfactory compliance demonstrated by Mastercard Asia / Pacific Pte. Ltd. with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) circular dated April 6, 2018 on storage of payment system data, the restrictions imposed, vide order dated July 14, 2021, on on-boarding of new domestic customers have been lifted with immediate effect,” the central bank said in a statement.
One of the largest card schemes operating in India, MasterCard was barred from on-boarding new domestic customers for debit, credit or prepaid cards, starting July 22, 2021. While taking action against the company, the RBI had said that despite being given considerable time and adequate opportunities to comply with regulatory norms on payment system data, MasterCard was found to be non-compliant with them.
This order did not impact customers of Mastercard who had been on-boarded prior to the ban, which was imposed by the central bank under Section 17 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
The RBI’s April 2018 circular on storage of payment system data required all system providers to ensure that the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them be stored in a system only in India. This data was to include end-to-end transaction details, as well as information collected, carried or processed as part of the message or payment instruction. For the foreign leg of the transaction, if any, mirroring of the data in the foreign country was permitted.