India's largest public sector bank, the State Bank of India (SBI), is planning to deactivate some debit cards by the end of this month.
The cards will be deactivated irrespective of their expiry, which will leave them completely unusable in the near future.
Let's know more about these cards, why SBI is doing this, and what can you do about it.
'Magstripe' debit cards phased out by RBI
In the beginning of this year, the Reserve Bank of India enforced the decision to replace old magnetic stripe-based credit/debit cards with new, more secure microchip-based EMV cards.
The action prompted banks to notify customers about getting a replacement, but even after months of effort, SBI says a large number of frauds are being carried out using the magnetic stripe-based cards.
Now, SBI wants to deactivate these magstripe cards
Though SBI says all its customers have been issued EMV chip and pin-based cards, the frauds have been continuing to date.
This is why they have now decided to deactivate all active magstripe cards by December 31, irrespective of when they are supposed to expire.
Now, this means, if you are still on the dated SBI card, it won't work in 2020.
What can you do in this case?
The only solution to dodge unexpected debit card deactivation is getting a new chip-based EMV card before December 31.
SBI says it promises "guaranteed authenticity, greater security for online payments and added security against fraud" and can be acquired by customers by simply applying at their home branch or through internet banking.
The card replacement is free as well, according to the bank.
Here is SBI's alert on the matter
Apply now to change your Magnetic Stripe Debit Cards to the more secure EMV Chip and PIN based SBI Debit card at your home branch by 31st December, 2019. Safeguard yourself with guaranteed authenticity, greater security for online payments and added security against fraud. pic.twitter.com/t9K3TiGTad