Credit and Debit Cards for online payment in India               Home

Credit and debit cards are used for online payment worldwide and are the most economical way to make foreign currency payments in India .  Most Indian banks like ICICI Bank and HDFC bank issue a variety of credit and debit cards. In India, credit cards are used used for paying utility bills like mobile phone bills. In 2006, there are about 17 million credit card holders in India. ATM cum debit cards are issued by banks to most account holders , usually at an annual fee of approx. Rs 100 (+ service tax).

ICICI bank offers free International Debit cards initially with current account. However,  after the first year , the bank charges Rs 100 per year. These debit cards cards cannot be used for online transaction (this information is available only in small print in the booklet sent with the debit card ). The bank charges for their various credit and debit cards are available at their website.   Their credit cards can be used for online purchases,  subject to an annual foreign currency limit. The bank charges for  foreign currency transaction are 3.5%. This is the charge which is added to the exchange rate indicated by the credit card issuer like Visa. The foreign exchange rates offered by Visa are available at their website. Visa foreign exchange rates for Visa credit and debit card holders

HDFC bank offers free lifetime credit cards to certain customers, you can contact their phone banking to find our if you are eligible. However, they are unable to offer detailed clarifications, or terms and conditions  to the customers who are eligible for this offer. Their charges for issue of a debit card are Rs 100 (+service tax) . Their credit and debit card can both be used for online transaction using their  'Netsafe' card.  This is one time use credit card, which expires 24 hours after it is generated. More on Netsafe Ecard . The bank charges for foreign currency transactions are 3%. This information is not available on their website and when their customer care is contacted, they say that they only charge Visa mid-rate for foreign exchange.


Some Visa Debit Cards are being duplicated and used for POS transactions. Read about how counterfeit HDFC VISA debit cards in Mumbai are being misused . It is advisable to check the the account balance online regularly and notify HDFC bank in case of any discrepancy. The Mumbai police have arrested 3 people for credit card fraud by duplicating credit cards. The police feel that this could be part of a larger racket. For small amounts it is always advisable to pay by cash, to avoid such problems in future. Before getting a credit card, you should check if you are insured against losses due to such credit card fraud.


The daily limit for their standard credit cards and debit cards is Rs 25,000 for Point of Sale (POS) transactions and cash withdrawal limit (for ATMs) is Rs 15000. Like most banks in India, they will not be able to provide the terms and conditions, before you sign up for the debit or credit card.  If  you want to make a credit or debit card, you just have to sign the application form without having complete information about the charges you are liable to pay at a later date.


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