Mastercard banned from issuing new cards in India

MUMBAI: India’s central bank Wednesday banned global payments giant Mastercard from adding new customers starting next week, in an escalation of a long-standing dispute on local data storage rules.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) found Mastercard to be in violation of its April 2018 circular that directed all payments data be stored exclusively in India, allowing the regulator “unfettered supervisory access” to transaction details.

Global payments service providers like Mastercard, Visa and American Express have lobbied against data localisation, citing increased costs.

“Notwithstanding (the) lapse of considerable time and adequate opportunities being given, the entity (Mastercard) has been found to be non-compliant with the directions of Storage Payment System Data,” the RBI said in a notification.

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Mastercard will be indefinitely blocked from issuing debit, credit or prepaid cards to customers in India from July 22. The central bank said existing Mastercard customers would not be affected.

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