In what could be called an unprecedented move by the bank, SBI and its subsidiary banks blocked 6.25 lakh debit cards of their customers after portable security breach threat.
After the scoop reached the bank about suspicious transactions at third-party ATM machines, the bank decided to block the debit cards without giving prior notice to the concerned customers.
Following the blockage of debit cards, SMSes and emails were then sent to the cardholders informing of the sudden move, asking them to re-apply for new cards.
It was later made clear that the bank took the drastic step to avoid any major data breach in response to an advisory message by card network companies NPCI, MasterCard and Visa.
Below is the statement from SBI on debit card issue for your reference:
STATEMENT OF SBI
Card network companies NPCI, Mastercard and Visa had informed various banks in India about a potential risk to some cards in India owing to a data breach.
Accordingly, State Bank of India (SBI) has taken precautionary measures and have blocked cards of certain customers identified by the networks. This has been a proactive measure to protect our customers from any potential fraud, once we came to know of some data breach outside our Bank.
We’d like to inform that SBI’ robust systems are absolutely secure and no security breach has happened. Customers can continue to use their Debit Cards securely. This is a cards industry incident (not only SBI).
SBI is in the process of issuing new cards at no cost to the customers whose cards have been blocked. The Cardholders can generate the PIN through SMS/IVRS/internet banking without visiting the branch. Alternatively, the cardholders can collect the physical PIN mailer from their home branch.
Customers are further requested to use the fraud prevention facilities provided by SBI. This includes functionalities where the cardholder has options to choose at will his/her channel of usage (i.e., ATM / PoS / eCommerce) and restrict the Card usage to domestic and international. Additionally the customers set their own Card limit through internet banking based on his/her requirement. These services are easy to operate and available free of cost to the cardholders.