Microchip-Based Cards Launched in India: How to Use Them in ATMs?

On 1st January 2019, the Reserve Bank of India ordained a strategic move of making microchip-based debit and credit cards mandatory in India.

Several leading banks have already released a mandate of making old magstripe-based cards useless. It is not a simple incident of upgrading your existing cards. RBI had imposed an instruction to all the banks for calibrating the ATMs.

Reserve Bank of India-Decision of Upgrading Cards

A few months back, the majority of public and private sector banks started rolling out instructions to customers for upgrading their existing debit and credit cards to advanced, chip-based EMV smart cards.

The banks imposed a deadline of December 31 after which all the chip-less cards stopped working at ATMs as well as POS terminals.

The sole objective behind exercising this upgrade is to make users opt for a more secure payment method.

Recalibration of ATMs

Apart from upgrading the cards, the central banking organisation has decided to re-calibrate the ATMs. With the application of smart cards, ATMs were put under scanner by the RBI. The RBI has directed to recalibrate the ATMs across the country to analyse information from the chip of EMV cards. With the introduction of advanced ATM machines, your debit card will be latched onto the machine during the entire course of the transaction. It means the user cannot insert and remove a card from an ATM and continue with the process of withdrawing money just like the earlier days.

But on an upgraded machine, your card will remain static unless a transaction fails to process and the money has not been withdrawn like on POS machines. On pulling out in advance, the card could get damaged, especially the critical chip part.

Banks have already started to notify customers about this recent modification. According to a statement from Axis Bank, the bank has reportedly upgraded the security features at our ATMs and Recyclers. They also stated the newly launched feature of the machine that will let the card remaining latched during the course of a transaction. The bank also threw caution to the wind stating that the users need to collect their card before leaving the ATM or Recycler.

The users need to be extremely careful while withdrawing money and reach out for the light indicator. According to reports, not all the machines have been updated. Hence, in some ATM stalls, the users will encounter old machines that follow the conventional operational module.

In the new ATM outlets, there will be machines that would display instructions about the new ‘latching feature’ or an LED indicator that would turn ‘red’ when the card gets inserted and would automatically get converted to ‘green’ to inform the removal of your card.

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