Reserve Bank of India lifts onboarding restrictions on American Express
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has lifted the business restrictions it imposed on American Express last year, allowing the firm to resume card issuance to new customers in the country.
The RBI imposed the restrictions on the company in May 2021, denying it the ability to onboard new domestic customers onto its card network due to non-compliance with a payment system data storage order made in April 2018.
The RBI now says that thanks to the “satisfactory compliance demonstrated by American Express”, the restrictions have been lifted with immediate effect.
An American Express spokesperson says: “We welcome today’s decision by the Reserve Bank of India, which enables the American Express Network to onboard new customers effective immediately.”
The April 2018 directive states that payment system providers must ensure that all data relating to payment systems operated by them is stored in a system only in India.
That data includes full end-to-end transaction details; information collected, carried and processed as part of the message; and payment instructions.
The move comes after the RBI lifted similar onboarding restrictions it imposed on Mastercard APAC in June.
The RBI similarly restricted Diners Card from adding new customers, citing violation of the same rules. The card companies, with backing from the US government, were opposed to the restrictions and had been lobbying to have them lifted.