Indian credit and debit card users have up to 31st December 2018 to replace their existing magnetic strip-based cards with EMV (Europay, Visa and MasterCard) chip-based cards. The Indian central bank, the Reserve Bank of India has made it compulsory for all banks to issue the latter cards with a view to prevent frauds and cloning of the cards.
Even those users whose card expiration date is post 31st December 2018 will need to replace their cards, and the order is applicable for both domestic and international credit and debit cards. Accordingly, banks are providing the newer type of cards as free replacement to their customers who use the magstripe-based cards.
India's largest bank, the State Bank of India tweeted about this and said, "We’re replacing ‘Magstripe Debit Cards’ with more secure ‘EMV Chip Debit Cards’, free of cost. Switch to an EMV Card today.
Last day to upgrade your Debit Card: 31st December 2018." Commenting on the decision to replace the Magstripe-based cards to the EMV format, SBI explained in its website, "This is a much secure technology as compared to magstripe variants of card."
According to statistics released, around 990 million people use debit cards in India, while around 42 million people use credit cards.