Mastercard has been prohibited from issuing new cards in India for some time now. The Reserve Bank of India made that decision in July 2021. Nearly one year later, the ban was lifted, and Mastercard can onboard new Indian customers again.
A Small Victory For Mastercard In India
It has been an intriguing time for Mastercard in India. Despite a strong foothold in one of the world’s biggest countries, the card issuer was not allowed to onboard new credit, debit, or prepaid card customers. That ban was a result of the company violating data storage rules in the country. Changes to those rules in 2019 force payment system providers to store full end-to-end transaction details in systems only in India.
Despite having a six-month window to comply with these measures, Mastercard did not meet the deadline. The company was one of the changes’ biggest proponents, together with Visa, American Express, PayPal, Amazon, and the US government. However, the RBI maintained its stance and prohibited Mastercard from onboarding new card customers until it complied.
Mastercard issued a statement to add:
“As we have in our engagement with the RBI, we reaffirm our commitment to support the digital needs of India, its people and its businesses. We are glad we have met this milestone and will continue to ensure ongoing delivery against the goals and regulatory requirements that have been established.”
Per the RBI, the card issuing giant has shown satisfactory compliance with the rules. As such, there is no need to keep the restrictions in place. The Reserve Bank of India wants access to these details to provide a better monitoring solution in the country and keep close tabs on any suspicious or illicit activity.