Auto-Debit Mandate by RBI for YouTube and OTT Subscribers – 2021

Reserve Bank of IndiaRBI auto-debit mandate on YouTube and OTT platforms will start implementing from 1st October 2021. Let us discuss the new mandate of RBI, and what will be its impact.

What is the RBI’s auto-debit mandate?

Recently, the Reserve Bank of India has released a new rule which will be coming into effect from 1st October 2021. The new rule states that all the auto-debit transactions done through Debit Card or Credit Card will fall under AFA (Additional Factor Authentication). That means any such platform having customers for auto-renewal or auto-debit from his/her Debit Card or Credit Card should receive a notification in advance of 24 hrs.

The auto-debit transaction can only happen after that customer approves through that notification. The auto-debit will automatically cancel if the customer doesn’t approve through the notification. According to the new rule, the transactions for auto-debit from Cards amounting to more than INR 5000 will require customers to manually approve it through OTP (One Time Password).

Please note: The new mandate of auto-debit, most likely it will not have any effect on EMIs. According to the new rule, the new mandate will only apply for any type of subscription or bill payment structure that a customer has put to auto-debit mode on Cards.

RBI’s auto-debit mandate for YouTube & OTT platforms:

YouTube: YouTube generally has two types of subscription facilities for the customers.

  1. YouTube Premium Subscription: YouTube provides this premium services membership by which a customer will enjoy YouTube music, videos ads free. The system for this subscription is for a one-time payment mode or recurring payment mode.
  2. YouTube Channels Membership: This type of membership is for subscribing to any YouTube creator’s channel, to get the benefits from there. Here also the same type of subscription model is available. One time or recurring.

Now, the new guideline of the Reserve Bank of India states, that anyone can take the subscription of the YouTube premium service or of any channel. The customer can make onetime payments through a card, but if the customer wants the payment mode to be recurring, i.e., the amount will be deducted from his/her card automatically, the customer has to verify (if the option is available) his/her card before 30th September 2021.

Else, the subscription will be canceled. And any subscription above INR 5000 will not be validated for the recurring membership model. It has to be manually done every time. Please note that the customers, who are already subscribed are requested to ensure the validation before 30th Sep 2021.

For this, Google has already started mails regarding the new mandate of RBI to the YouTube customers and also to the YouTube Creators.

OTT platforms:

There are several OTT platforms in India like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Hotstar, Zee Premium, Hoichoi, etc. Each of them has over millions subscriber base. Generally, when we do a subscription to any of the OTT platforms, they save the card details for future transaction purposes. And, the maximum time a customer makes the subscription on a recurring model so that the amount will automatically get deducted every time on the time of renewal, and the customer can easily enjoy the service without interruption.

But, according to the new rules and guidelines that are to be implemented from 1st October 2021 by RBI, any subscription renewal should be followed by AFA (Additional Factor Authentication), where the Card or the Bank Authority will have to notify the customer about auto-debit for the subscription amount before 24 Hrs. by SMS. The customer will approve the condition and then the debit from the card will happen, else the subscription will be canceled.

Also Read: 2nd October 2021 – Why is this date so important in India?

What will be the impact of the new guideline?

After RBI stated the new guidelines to be followed from 1St October 2021, the Banks and the Credit Card companies have already started informing their customers through SMS and e-mails. Many Major Banks have already started working out with the aggregators like Razorpay, and etc. to integrate the common e-mandate platform. Though according to the experts, it is tough for all banks to meet the deadline of the RBI guideline, still all are trying hard to for a smooth transition.

Whereas, the OTT platforms are in doubt about the new guidelines of RBI, as they fear losing their subscribers by around 10-15%. Not only, YouTube or OTT subscribers, but many do also use recurring or auto-debit mode for their cards for bill payments such as Electricity, Gas, Mobile Bills &, etc. All of these will certainly fall under the effect of the new guideline.


With the advancements of technology, online transactions have grown rapidly in all means. Starting from bill payment to monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscription. Each of them is done by online payment mode, especially through Credit or Debit Cards. In this between, frauds on such online transactions have also rapidly increased. So, this new RBI mandate on auto-debit can be a boon to the customers and decrease online transaction frauds. Also, it may likely help many customers to save amount on the unutilized subscription they are having.

To apply & regulate a new guideline, it may be a little issue at the first – when the banks, as well as the customers, will face issues and problems. But, the process will simplify with time.

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