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One Nation, One Card: PM Modi launches mobility card for seamless travel through different metros

The National Common Mobility Card (NCMC), an indigenous automatic fare collection system based on One Nation One Card Model, is the first of its kind indigenously developed payment platform in India.

Mar 5, 2019 11:15 IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 4, 2019 launched ‘One Nation, One Card’ Model from Ahmedabad, Gujarat for seamless travel through different metros and other transport systems.

The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs introduced the ‘National Common Mobility Card’ (NCMC) to enable seamless travel by different metros and other transport systems across the country besides retail shopping and purchases.

One Nation, One Card

India’s first indigenously developed payment eco-system for transport mobility consists of:

  • National Common Mobility Card (NCMC)
  • Swachalit Kiraya: Automatic Fare Collection System (SWEEKAR)
  • Swachalit Gate (SWAGAT) based on NCMC Standards

The ‘National Common Mobility Card’ (NCMC), an indigenous automatic fare collection system based on One Nation One Card Model, is the first of its kind indigenously developed payment platform in India. These are bank issued cards based on Debit, Credit and Prepaid card platform.

How customers can use One Nation, One Card?

  • The customers can use this single card for payments across all segments including metro, bus, suburban railways, toll, parking, smart city and retail.
  • The stored value on the card supports offline transaction across all travel needs with minimal financial risk to involved stakeholders.
  • The card supports various service area features such as monthly passes, season tickets, etc.
  • NCMC offers the value proposition for customers as they need not to carry multiple cards for different usage

Implementation of NCMC in DMRC

  • For operators, NCMC ecosystem brings common standards for implementation without vendor lock-in.
  • In order to showcase the entire NCMC ecosystem for digital fare collection, the complete AFC system has been deployed in Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) across few stations for field trial purpose.
  • Under this pilot, NCMC compliant gates have been deployed at various stations of DMRC and cards have been issued by multiple banks to the users.
  • NCMC Ecosystem will help government in digitisation of low value payments and reduced cost for the entire ecosystem.

What led the Ministry to come out with common mobility card?

In India, public transport is used as a convenient mode of commuting by people of all class. They use cash as the most preferred mode of fare payments. However, there are multiple challenges associated with the cash payment such as cash handling, revenue leakages, cash reconciliation, etc.

Taking this into account, transit operators have been undertaking various initiatives to digitise the fare collection using ‘Automatic Fare Collection’ System (AFC). However, the restricted usability of these payment instruments limited the adoption by customers.

The AFC System at the gates, validators, and backend infrastructure is the core of any transit operator to automate the fare collection process. Till now, AFC systems deployed at various Metros in India are from foreign players as there is no indigenous or local solution provider.

To develop indigenous standards and AFC system under Make in India initiative, the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs came out with the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) Program for seamless travel across metros and other transport systems.

Agencies behind National Common Mobility Card

A committee was formed with representatives from National Informatics Centre (NIC), Centre for Development of Advance Computing (C-DAC), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and the Ministry of Finance to develop the NCMC.

The committee recommended EMV based Open Loop Card with stored value as NCMC.

The NPCI was given the mandate to develop the specifications for card to support the NCMC ecosystem.

The C-DAC finalised NCMC specification for AFC system including the interface with Bank server. CDAC worked in collaboration with NPCI to complete this activity.

The Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) was roped in for making Gates and Reader. This is the first gate and the reader which has been manufactured by an Indian company.

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