Even as the deadline for the RBI to adopt card tokenization approaches and start-ups continue to find alternative ways to make payments, global sellers are starting to take the extreme step of not accepting cards issued by Indian banks.

Recently, Chennai-based businessman Nalin Narayan got shocked when Heroku, a platform-as-a-service (Paas) solution, announced the discontinuation of services for Indian customers citing issues with accepting subscription fees through Indian credit and debit cards.

Narayan is currently working on a CRM and SaaS marketing app to start stealth mode and has signed up with Heroku to publish his app and support the back-end infrastructure.

“Thank you for your patience as we work through the regulatory changes of the Reserve Bank of India. Unfortunately, due to these new regulations, Heroku is unable to verify and process credit cards issued from India for Heroku customers online,” Heroku said in an email to Narayan. A copy of the email has been reviewed by business line.

The email continued, “As of December 15, 2021, Heroku will no longer accept credit cards issued by Indian banks. Customers who are unable to use a different credit card will have until the end of January 2022 to download their data, at which point their account will be suspended and then deleted.” .

Heroku is a company owned by Salesforce. Detailed inquiries sent to Salesforce remained unanswered at press time. Narayan said business line They are completely closing their stores in India, except for corporate deals that are done offline.

“The problem now for me is to find another alternative product and they will have to support my development package. It will take at least a week to move everything from Heroku to a new platform. I am chasing deadlines at the moment,” he said.


Tokenization refers to replacing physical card details with a unique alternate code called a “token”, which is exclusive to a combination of card, token request, or device.

Based on acknowledgments from the industry seeking more time to implement the ‘Payment Pools and Payment Gateways Regulation Guidelines’, the Reserve Bank of India in March had given non-bank payment aggregators six months, until December 31, 2021, to comply.

Payment failed

Many SaaS companies like Narayan that share 60-70 SaaS platforms and tools to build their own products face serious challenges. Most of them had to manually review and renew each platform on a monthly basis, like Fyle co-founder and CTO Sivaramakrishnan Narayanan.

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“This is affecting our daily business productivity. We are starting to receive notifications from all the platforms we have subscribed to.” Plus, sometimes our cards work and other times they don’t, so we have to keep a backup card on hand. And then, in some cases, we require the invoice to make a separate transfer. “It’s basically things that used to go smoothly, now it’s a pain point,” Narayanan said. business line.

Nearly three out of five transactions fail for Indian customers trying to make card payments for Bengaluru-based SaaS company Pathfix.

Samira Vanekar, founder of Pathfix, said they have to send out personalized reminders, one-time payment links and do an ongoing follow-up with customers based in India to allow for manual payments on their website.

“We have reached out to popular payment gateway companies and they are still working on an e-authorization and tokenization solution. I don’t think this has been resolved yet. Even for my payments to global companies like Stripe, they don’t go through. I have to ask them for a one-time payment link,” Vannekar said. ” business line.

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