ASSOCHAM advocates greater use of contactless debit cards

Panchanan Mishra
File photo: Contactless debit cards

File photo: Contactless debit cards

Industry association ASSOCHAM has suggested ways push digital payments that it says will help people to maintain better social distancing.

In a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, it has advocated increasing the limit of non swiping POS debit or credit card payments from present Rs 2000 to Rs 5000.

Other suggestions include promoting Bharat QR as a single open-loop QR code-based payment mechanism that can accept payments from all modes – Cards, UPI and Wallets.

ASSOCHAM Secretary General Deepak Sood said, “The objective is to help the government further push adoption of digital payments among the masses and merchants so as to advance and maintain social distancing in this critical scenario.”

He said in this hour of anxiety, deployment of technology platforms like VPA, IFSC, SWIFT Code can be used for money transactions that may include remittances to Indian students studying in some of the countries, worst affected by Covid-19 outbreak and reaching relief to the needy.

Besides, all cards (both debit, credit and prepaid), newly issued or re-issued, should be activated with Domestic Card-Not-Present (CNP) and Contactless transaction options.

Currently, transactions up to Rs 2000 done using Contactless Cards through tap and pay mode are allowed without PIN. ‘’In view of the ongoing pandemic situation, transactions up to Rs. 5,000 may be considered without the requirement of PIN, irrespective of whether the card is a contactless card or not.

This will help in reducing the contact with the POS terminal. The increase in contactless transaction limit may be considered for a limited period of 6 months’’. Afterwards, regulator may take appropriate decision to continue or revert.

ASSOCHAM also strongly recommended that NBFCs be given licences to issue credit cards to the SMEs, a move that can help the small and medium firms with their working capital for short periods. It also advocated that Trade Receivable Discounting System (TReDS) should be made mandatory for all suppliers to come on board this platform. This, it said, will help in seamless presentation of bills, their validation, discounting and approval of funds on a single platform. TReDS should also allow NBFCs to take part in financing.