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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Weather Banks charging any transaction fee for transacting through debit card a violation of RBI Regulations

Do you face any issue with Banks or the Merchants charging any additional fee as transaction fee for transacting through debit cards ? 

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued order against Pernicious practices of select banks deterring customer protection and accounting integrity vide their order No. RBI/2013-14/292 DBS.CO.PPD No. 3578/ 11.01.005/2013-14 dtd. 17th September 2013. The plain reading of the above referred order suggest that the Banks or any Merchant cannot charge any additional amount towards transaction fee for making payment through usage of debit cards. The relevant portion of the order is reproduced for ready reference of the readers so that they are able to raise their voice against unethical business practices of those banks and the merchants who are charging any transaction fee.

"4. Levying fees on debit card transactions by merchants - There are instances where merchant establishments levy fee as a percentage of the transaction vale as charges on customers who are making payments for purchase of goods and services through debit cards. Such fee are not justifiable and are not permissible as per the bilateral agreement between the acquiring bank and the merchants and therefore calls for termination of the relationship of the bank with such establishments.

5. Though many banks have appreciated our concerns and have discontinued with the above mentioned practices/ products, some of them still seem to persist with them. These practices/ products thwart the very principle of fair and transparent pricing of products which beholds customer rights and customer protection, especially, in the more vulnerable retail segment. Such practices thus violate, both in letter and spirit, various provisions of our MC on Interest Rate on Advances and therefor, you are advised to strictly desist from these practices hence forth.

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