Its been almost 12 months since private banks in India have replaced magnetic stripe debit cards with chip-based cards for making payments secure.
However, the State Bank of India (SBI), which is recognised as one of India’s largest banking entity, has taken its own sweet time to make the switch, and only few days back it announced that its users will have to move to chip-based cards by end of this year.
So, even as banks like HDFC, ICICI and PNB among others replaced their card technology last year, SBI has somehow delayed it by almost 12 months.
These plastic payment cards came with a magnetic strip at the back, which were swiped to make payment, as well as use it for taking out cash from ATMs. But this archaic feature was easy to hack into, leaving millions of users vulnerable to card thefts or skimming without their knowledge.
To reduce such instances, RBI felt moving to chip-based card, having an EMV® chip, will offer secure means for storing confidential data like your account details and even access to the personal identity numbers or PIN.
To inform its account holders, this is what SBI tweeted few days back.
Apply now to change your Magnetic Stripe Debit Cards to the more secure EMV Chip and PIN based SBI Debit card at your home branch by 31st December, 2019. Safeguard yourself with guaranteed authenticity, greater security for online payments and added security against fraud. pic.twitter.com/t9K3TiGTad— State Bank of India (@TheOfficialSBI) November 30, 2019
To replace the card, SBI wants its account holders to head over to their home branch, from where they will get a new chip-based card with PIN free of cost. The users are required to make this change by 31 December, after which the magnetic stripe cards will become defunct.
It’s possible that SBI could also offer this support through its online channels but we’d highly recommend you to follow the traditional channel and get the card in your hand in person.
In its defence, SBI does have a lot more account holders and branches in the country, which is likely to have forced the bank to postpone its plans to switch the card technology. Either ways, people shouldn’t wait and get their new cards right away.
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