Moneyless in Seattle, card holders send SOS – Economic Times
Mumbai: At least 40,000 Yes Bank debit and forex card holders travelling overseas are hit due to the ongoing crisis at the bank. The situation is especially grim for customers carrying Yes Bank forex prepaid cards instead of currency notes, with their access to payments for hotel room accommodation, transport — and even food — virtually cut off.
“Forex prepaid cards are just like drafts which are also pre-paid instruments. This is an unprecedented crisis with thousands of Indians overseas without any access to their own money,” said a forex-card operator who did not wish to be named. “Imagine being in a situation where you are traveling outside the country and banking on your credit/ debit cards, and they no longer work.”
The central bank on Thursday imposed a moratorium on Yes Bank that capped deposit withdrawals at Rs 50,000 per person, or $675. It relaxed the limit for emergencies like medical needs, payment for higher education, or marriage expenses. That is set at Rs 5 lakh.
Several Yes Bank customers having prepaid forex cards tweeted to the bank seeking help as the cards were deactivated, leaving them stranded overseas without access to any money.
Harsh Wadhwa, a student having a BookMyForex multi-currency card, complained that he had no access to funds. “I have to pay my rent but I can’t withdraw a single cent even when I have already preloaded money in my card,” Wadhwa wrote on twitter.
Another twitter user Soumitra Chakravarti said he was currently in Canada and his only source of money was his forex Card. “The key word is prepaid, how can you stop my card services? I am stranded because of this and in an SOS situation,” he too wrote on Twitter, tagging S Jaishankar, India’s external affairs minister.
The private lender, facing regulatory curbs, on Saturday announced that its systems were operational and that its users could make withdrawals using its debit cards and ATMs.
“You can now make withdrawals using your Yes Bank debit card both at Yes Bank and other bank ATMs. Thanks for your patience,” the bank tweeted Saturday evening.
The bank also issued a set of FAQs and clarified that all online remittances including payments through RTGS/NEFT are suspended as of now. It also clarified that since all clearing activities were suspended, EMIs will be honored up to the prescribed limit subject to reinstatement of clearing activities.
Also, all cheques already issued will not be honored until clearing resumes or Mint Road gives further directives.
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