To comply with the Reserve Bank of India's new guidelines, Amazon Prime users will no longer be able to buy the Rs 129 one-month subscription plan, and the company will also discontinue the free Amazon Prime trial pack.
To process recurring online transactions, the RBI has directed banks and financial institutions to add a factor of authentication with the deadline on September 30th.
Owing to the banks' inability to process any new requests for electronic payments on your credit/debit cards, Amazon has updated its FAQ page to state that these arrangements will be discontinued.
"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.
There are currently only two plans available to new users: a three-month plan for Rs 329 and a yearly plan for Rs 999. Since it is much less costly than the monthly plans, the yearly option seems to make a lot of sense. Most prepaid plans now include a free Amazon Prime membership, so look for one if you don't want to spend extra money or a lot of money on an Amazon Prime membership.
The RBI has extended the deadline for implementing the additional element of authentication to avoid causing users any inconvenience. The RBI announced the new mandate in August of this year. It was originally intended to work with cards and wallets, but it was later extended to include Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions.
"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 a statement.