The government wants this to become the ‘most popular’ card to make payments
Bengaluru: The government wants banks and consumer-facing government departments to widen acceptance of the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) across public utility services.
In a letter addressed to banks, oil marketing companies, top executives of the transport department, metro rail systems and others, S Gopalakrishnan, joint secretary in the ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY), has urged them to expand the acceptance ecosystem of the NCMC cards. ET has reviewed a copy of the letter.
In terms of expanding the acceptance infrastructure, the government wants banks to deploy contactless payment-enabled point-ofsales terminals across toll plazas in cash lanes and ensure that all new PoS devices deployed by banks can process NCMC payments. It has also suggested that banks may upgrade the existing near field communication PoS terminals in retail to be able to accept NCMC in the offline mode.
For metro rail systems, MeitY wants them to move to open loop NCMC cards at the earliest so that consumers can use the card not only for metro payments but also for other purposes.
“Discount may be provided for bus/metro travel through NCMC,” said the note.
The ministry also intends to get all its organised retail departments to create an acceptance network for NCMC, across departments like Khadi Commission, oil retailers and ‘kendriya bhandars’.
“The overall push from the government is to take a large chunk of cash payments in the transit space onto digital modes and NCMC is their biggest bet, but the need is to also expand acceptance,” said a senior banker in the know of the matter. “While the launch has happened with RuPay, since the specifications of the card are with the government, other card schemes can also start offering these cards.”
NCMC will also enable banks to push contactless cards in a major way in the country, which is preferable because of its higher security standards.
ET had reported in its July 20 edition last year that the government had written to banks to push contactless NFC-enabled cards to increase convenience and security of card transactions.
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has worked with the ministry of urban development on the NCMC project with the aim of creating a single card for transit as well as for retail.
According to the retail payment body’s website, NCMC should help in creating an interoperable fare management system for maximum convenience of consumers. NPCI has mentioned that the specifications are all open source and can be adopted by other card schemes as well.