The central bank has called upon all citizens and residents holding bank cards - debit, credit, and prepaid – to take necessary precautions in this regard, and not to allow swiping of their cards more than once for each payment made by them. 'Although the banks have acted on CBO's directives and have informed their customers about the implications of the double swiping, some of the merchants were yet to comply with the directives,' the CBO said in a notice posted on its website.
The CBO earlier issued directives to banks engaged in merchants acquiring business to ensure that double swiping practice is stopped. However, some of the merchants and public service providers were noticed to be still carrying out this practice of double swiping, which prompted the CBO to issue a reminder in the form of a general public notice, the central bank said.
The notice explained that 'double swiping' is swiping of a card for the second time by the merchants at their terminals or cash registers, immediately after swiping or inserting the card for payment on the point-of-sale terminal belonging to the bank.
'The second swiping is apparently being done by the merchants to facilitate their accounting processes, and sometimes to carry out their marketing initiatives. In this process, the merchants collect the customers' data, which is widely considered as unsecure and hence discouraged worldwide as it gives access to personal and sensitive information of the cardholders,' the central bank said.
The CBO further said that this practice is also against customer confidentiality and data privacy requirements of the sultanate. It advised people not to share pin number of their bank cards, and requested them to report incidents of 'double swiping' to their respective banks immediately.