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In a major blow to payment services major Mastercard Asia/Pacific Pte Ltd, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday imposed restrictions on the onboarding of new domestic customers in the country on its card network.

The RBI said that the restrictions had been imposed as, in spite of a lapse of considerable time and adequate opportunities being given, the entity has been found to be non-compliant with the directions on storage of Payment System Data.

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“The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has today imposed restrictions on Mastercard Asia / Pacific Pte Ltd (Mastercard) from onboarding new domestic customers (debit, credit, or prepaid) onto its card network from July 22, 2021,” the central bank said in a statement.

It, however, added that the order would not impact the existing customers of Mastercard.

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Mastercard will have to advise all card-issuing banks and non-banks to conform to these directions. The supervisory action has been taken in the exercise of powers vested in the RBI under Section 17 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (PSS Act).

Mastercard is a payment system operator authorized to operate a card network in the country under the PSS Act.

As per the RBI circular on storage of payment system data dated April 6, 2018, all system providers were directed to ensure that within a period of six months, the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them is stored in a system only in India.

They were also required to report compliance to the RBI and submit a board-approved system audit report conducted by a CERT-In empanelled auditor within the timelines specified therein.

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