In recent past, RBI had received requests for waiver of requirement of the additional factor of authentication (AFA) so as to foster innovative payment products/processes as also enhance the convenience factor in certain types of card transactions.
After examining the trade-off between security and convenience in card transactions, RBI had sought public comments on relaxation in AFA in case of small value card present transactions using Near Field Communication (NFC) contactless technology.
"Accordingly, it has been decided to relax the extant instructions relating to the need for AFA requirements for small value card present transactions only using contact-less cards," it said, and added, "relaxation for AFA requirement is permitted for transactions for a maximum value of Rs. 2,000 per transaction".
The limit of Rs. 2,000 per transaction will be the limit set across all categories of merchants where contactless payments will be accepted.
"Beyond this transaction limit, the card has to be processed as a contact payment and authentication with PIN (AFA) will be mandatory," RBI added.
PIN is acronym for 'Personal Identification Number'.
As these cards will continue to be chip cards, customers may use them, irrespective of value, as a regular chip card and authenticate the transaction with a PIN as hitherto.
"If the customer, however, chooses to use the card for contactless payments, then PIN authentication may not be necessary for transactions up to Rs. 2,000," RBI added.