Getting a credit card is so easy. You just make one request to your bank’s Relationship Manager and within a few minutes will be flooded with phone calls informing you of the types of credit cards available along with their benefits.
However, you would not experience the same friendly behaviour while seeking closure of your credit card(s). While getting a credit card is just too easy with banks and fintech organizations more than eager to push their products down your throat, closing it can be an equally intimidating affair.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulations mandate credit card companies to act upon closure requests by customers. However, the reality is starkly different. The sales teams have their target to acquire new customers.
The companies badger their operations teams to retain old customers by luring them with new schemes and the possibility of saving more money with every purchase. The operations people will do whatever it takes to persuade their users to retain the card. Soon, you will get offers such as credit limit upgrades or waiver of annual charges on the cards.
No matter, how many times you request to get your card closed, the bank representatives will call you multiple times with new offers under the guise of confirmation before actually closing your card.
Very few credit card holders know that RBI rules have directed all credit card companies to honour all requests for credit card closures within a week provided the customers have paid all their dues.
As per a notification from the RBI regarding credit card activation, deactivation and closure, “Any request for closure of a credit card shall be honoured within seven working days by the credit card issuer, subject to payment of all dues by the cardholder. Subsequent to the closure of the credit card, the cardholder shall be immediately notified about the closure through email, SMS, etc.”
The regulations also state, “Cardholders shall be provided with the option to submit a request for closure of a credit card account through multiple channels such as the helpline, dedicated e-mail-id, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), prominently visible link on the website, internet banking, mobile app or any other mode. The card-issuer shall not insist on sending a closure request through post or any other means which may result in the delay of receipt of the request. Failure on the part of the card issuers to complete the process of closure within seven working days shall result in a penalty of ₹500 per day of delay payable to the customer, till the closure of the account provided there is no outstanding in the account.”
Many customers complain of constant hassles and harassment while seeking the closure of their credit cards. Ignorance of customers coupled with malpractices followed by some credit card companies has only caused such unwarranted behaviour to aggravate. The focus must be to be aware of the rules surrounding these financial instruments before applying for them.