State Bank of India, the country's largest bank, has an important update for all of its customers, which involves the most common practice of withdrawing cash. SBI has alerted its customers about upgrading their debit cards to an EMV chip-based cards. Failing to do so would result in customers being unable to withdraw money from ATMs.

SBI has already started deactivating debit cards of those accounts, in which PAN card or Form 60 is not updated. SBI customers must replace their magnetic strip debit card with debit cards with EMV chip by December 31, 2019, to avoid problems withdrawing cash.

"Upgradation of Magstripe Debit Cards to EMV Chip Cards for enhanced security and towards compliance of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines. Esteemed customers may please note that Magstripe Debit Cards blocked by them will remain blocked permanently. They are requested to apply for replacement EMV Chip Cards, free of cost, through online SBI, or through their home branch," the bank said in a statement.

State Bank of India, SBI
A man stands outside a State Bank of India branch in Gurugram on May 31, 2018IANS

SBI is blocking magnetic stripe debit cards regardless of their validity, so it is important for customers to replace them at the earliest. Making the process seamless and efficient for customers, SBI isn't charging anything.

How to get EMV chip-based debit card?

SBI customers can visit their home branch to apply for a new EMV chip-based debit card. Online banking customers can also put in their request for the new, more secure debit card using SBI Yono App or through net banking.

Since the upgrading of magnetic stripe debit card is free of cost, customers can request a refund at the branch in case there has been a charge on the account. Customers would need to present proof of the charge, which in this case would be the bank statement.

SBI Debit card
Classic cards that do not come with chip-enabled security will stop workingIBT India

Those who are placing the request for a new debit card online, they can log in to SBI's online account, go to eServices and select "ATM card services." Customers must ensure that their address in the bank records is correct as the debit card would be shipped to the registered address only.

All magnetic stripe debit cards will be deactivated from January 2020.

How to identify EMV chip card?

A quick look at the debit card would tell you if you need to upgrade or not. Check the face of the debit card and if there's no visible chip then the debit card must be upgraded. The chip will be positioned on the centre-left side of the debit card.

SBI mandates EMV chip-based debit cards
SBI mandates EMV chip-based debit cardsSBI via Twitter

Benefits of EMV chip-based debit card

EMV is short for Europay, Mastercard and Visa. This is a global standard for debit cards and has an embedded microprocessor chip that stores and protects cardholder's data. As compared to Magstripe cards, EMV chip cards are more secure and safe to use. It protects customers from online frauds.