National Common Mobility Card

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched today One Nation, One Card for transport mobility at a function in Ahmedabad.

• The Indigenous Automatic Fare Collection System based on One Nation One Card Model i.e. National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) is the first of its kind in India.

Key features

• India’s First Indigenously Developed Payment Eco-system for transport consisting of NCMC Card, SWEEKAR (Swachalit Kiraya: Automatic Fare Collection System) and SWAGAT (Swachalit Gate) is ased on NCMC Standards.

• These are bank issued cards on Debit/Credit/Prepaid card product platform.
• The customer may use this single card for payments across all segments including metro, bus, suburban railways, toll, parking, smart city and retail.

• The stored value on card supports offline transaction across all travel needs with minimal financial risk to involved stakeholders.

• The service area feature of this card supports operator specific applications e.g. monthly passes, season tickets etc.

• Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs brought to the fore 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.

Background:

• Public Transport is extensively used across India as the economical and convenient mode of commuting for all classes of society.

• Cash continues to be the most preferred mode of fare payments across the public transport.

• However, there are multiple challenges associated with the cash payment e.g. cash handling, revenue leakages, cash reconciliation etc.

• Various initiatives have been taken by transit operators to automate and digitize the fare collection using Automatic Fare Collection System (AFC).

• The introduction of closed loop cards issued by these operators helped to digitize the fare collection to a significant extent.

• However, the restricted usability of these payment instruments limits the
digital adoption by customers.

• AFC System (gates, readers/validators, backend infrastructure etc.) is the core of any transit operator to automate the fare collection process.

• The major challenge associated with AFC system implementation in India till now is the lack of indigenous solution provider.

• Till now, AFC systems deployed at various Metros are from foreign players. In order to avoid the vendor lock-in and create an interoperable system, there was a need to develop indigenous standards and AFC system under Make in India initiative.

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Mains Paper 3: Economy | Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, and Railways etc.

Prelims level: NCMC

Mains level: Utility of the NCMC

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