All Indian clients of credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards will be able to switch networks as of October 1. Card users will soon be able to switch from Visa to MasterCard to RuPay or any other network of their choice, or vice versa, in the same way, that you can switch your mobile network between Vodafone, Jio, and Airtel.
The Reserve Bank of India has released a circular that challenges the practice where card network alternatives are established by agreements between issuers and networks and gives debit, credit, and prepaid card consumers the ability to choose their preferred card network.
Similar to how we can switch cell service providers while keeping our phone numbers, card network portability allows consumers to move their card accounts from one network to another.
Cardholders can move to a different payment network with the flexibility of keeping their current card accounts, balances, and credit histories intact thanks to card network portability.
Currently, when you apply for a debit or credit card, the network provider is normally chosen for you by the card issuer.
For instance, the debit or credit card you apply for will always say either Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club or RuPay. However, it is not up to you to pick who you can choose. This is due to the fact that your bank has been picking your card network provider on your behalf for quite some time. But everything will soon change.
According to RBI, the current relationship between card networks and card issuers (banks and non-banks) does not promote customers’ access to a variety of options.
The central bank has requested that card issuers, such as banks and finance businesses, permit clients to choose between many card options and their preferred network provider for their cards in a drafting circular that was published on July 5, 2023.