OTT platform Amazon Prime will not allow users to buy the one-month subscription plan worth Rs 129. The company has also discontinued the free Amazon Prime trial pack as well. This has been done to comply with the Reserve Bank of India’s new guidelines. The RBI has ordered banks and financial institutions to add a factor of authentication to process recurring online transactions. The deadline for the same Is September 30.
Amazon has updated on its FAQ page that it will be discontinuing certain plans because the banks will not be able to process any new requests for automated payments on your credit/debit cards.
“Please note that effective 1 April 2021, owing to a Reserve Bank of India mandate, your bank may not be able to process any new requests for automated payments on your credit/debit cards. Therefore, effective 27 April 2021, we have temporarily discontinued: (i) new member sign-ups for Amazon Prime Free Trial and (ii) new member sign-ups for Monthly Prime Membership until further notice. You can continue enjoying Prime membership benefits by renewing/signing up for the Three Month or Annual Prime Membership here. Effective 27 April 2021, the update under this notice will supersede any conflicting positions in the Prime T&Cs below,” the note by Amazon read.
Currently, new users have only two plans to choose from a three-month plan that costs Rs 329 and a yearly plan that costs Rs 999. The yearly plan seems to make a lot of sense because if you calculate it comes a lot cheaper than the monthly plans. Nowadays, most prepaid plans also come with a free subscription to Amazon Prime, so you can look for one of those if you don’t wish to spend extra money or a lot of money on an Amazon Prime subscription.
RBI had extended the deadline for implementing the additional factor of authentication to save users from inconvenience. The RBI had announced the new mandate in August 2019. It was initially applicable to cards and wallets but later was framework was extended to cover Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions as well.
“The requirement of Additional Factor of Authentication (AFA) has made digital payments in India safe and secure. In the interest of customer convenience and safety in use of recurring online payments, the framework mandated use of AFA during registration and first transaction (with relaxation for subsequent transactions up to a limit of Rs 2,000, since enhanced to Rs 5,000), as well as pre-transaction notification, facility to withdraw the mandate, etc. The primary objective of the framework was to protect customers from fraudulent transactions and enhance customer convenience. Based on a request from Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) for an extension of time till March 31, 2021, to enable the banks to complete the migration, Reserve Bank had advised the stakeholders in December 2020 to migrate to the framework by March 31, 2021. Thus, adequate time was given to the stakeholders to comply with the framework,” RBI had said in statement.