I WOULD like to bring to the notice of those concerned at the State Bank of Pakistan to revisit the system of issuance of plastic (credit) cards to consumers by commercial banks.
At present it is not mandatory for banks to inscribe a picture of consumers on the credit cards, which make its use vulnerable in case the card is lost or stolen.
Most of us do not remember helpline numbers of banks in order to get the cards blocked.
This issue is aggravated when consumers do not have ready record of their credit card numbers or CNICs beforehand to contact the banks for doing the needful, especially when an individual loses multiple cards at a time.
Recently one of our colleagues was deprived of big money within a few hours when the credit card was lost to a mugger.
The concerned bank expressed its inability to accept his claim on the plea that unauthorised transactions were done before the bank was informed.
If all credit cards had pictures of consumers, its wrong use can be checked or stopped at the point of sale (PoS).
It is witnessed that at PoS merchants usually do not tally the signatures of consumers with those at the back of the cards.
In many cases even consumers do not sign at the back of their cards as specimen signatures.
The SBP may advice all banks to have pictures of card-holders on cards. Banks may also ensure that consumers sign at the back of their cards while receiving them.
Responsibility equally lies with salesmen and those at outlets checkouts to accept cards only in the presence of its original bearer and check signatures.
M. MUSTAFA SALEEM Karachi