RBI rationalises charges on debit cards

RBI rationalises charges on debit cards
Highlights

In order to promote digital payments, the Reserve Bank on Wednesday came out with differentiated merchant discount rates (MDR) for debit card transactions, prescribing separate caps for small and large traders. MDR is the rate charged to a merchant by a bank for providing debit and credit card services.

Mumbai: In order to promote digital payments, the Reserve Bank on Wednesday came out with differentiated merchant discount rates (MDR) for debit card transactions, prescribing separate caps for small and large traders. MDR is the rate charged to a merchant by a bank for providing debit and credit card services.

Meanwhile, the apex bank kept key repo rate unchanged at 6 per cent and reverse repo rate at 5.75 per cent on inflation worries in its fifth monetary policy review on Wednesday. It however retained growth forecast of 6.7 per cent for the current fiscal.

As per the latest notification, MDR charges for small merchants with an annual turnover of up to Rs 20 lakh has been fixed at 0.40 per cent with a cap of Rs 200 per transaction by debit cards through Point of Sale (PoS) machines or online transactions.

For accepting payments via QR (quick response) code based transactions, the charge will be 0.30 per cent subject to a cap of Rs 200 per transaction. In case the annual turnover of a merchant is over Rs 20 lakh, the MDR charges would be 0.90 per cent with a cap of Rs 1,000 per transaction. If transaction is through QR code, the charges will be 0.80 per cent with a similar cap.

These directions will come into effect from January 1, RBI said, adding it would be the duty of the banks to ensure the MDR levied on the merchant does not exceed the prescribed cap.

RBI said rationalisation of the charges is being undertaken with a view to achieve the twin objectives of promoting debit card acceptance by a wider set of merchants, especially small traders, and ensuring sustainability of the business for the entities involved.

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