It can be used for making payments across public transport like bus, Metro, and suburban railways as well as for toll and parking anywhere India. It can be used as a debit or credit card for retail too.
Indigenously-developed payment ecosystem to enable use of national mobility card
The national mobility card was launched by PM Modi in Ahmedabad where, at a public rally, he also unveiled the country's first indigenously-developed payment ecosystem for transport comprising NCMC, Sweekar automatic fare-collection (AFC) system (Swachalit Kiraya), and card-reader system Swagat (Swachalit Gate).
'Matter of pride'
National mobility card compliant with 'Make in India' initiative: Official
Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Urban Affairs Ministry, said: "It is a matter of pride that this card...is compliant with the 'Make in India' initiative. The gate and reader prototype has been made by government-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL)."
He added, "...It will work seamlessly across Metro, Bus rapid transit (BRT), city bus, suburban rail, parking, toll etc. All Debit/Credit Cards will be NCMC compliant."
Any public or private bank can issue the card
One of the mobility card's highlights is that all public and private banks can issue it just like any other debit, credit, or prepaid card.
"They (NCMC) will be on the same platform as these (credit/debit/prepaid) cards... NCMC ecosystem offers the value proposition for customers...they need not to carry multiple cards... Further, the super-quick, contactless transaction will improve the seamless experience," an official said.
Urban Affairs Ministry officials working on NCMC since 2006
Urban Affairs Ministry officials have been working on NCMC since 2006 when the idea was envisaged as part of National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP).
The Ministry constituted a committee in 2014 for developing the ecosystem 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 Finance Ministry.
Supports offline transaction across travel needs with minimal financial risk
An Urban Affairs Ministry official said, "...The committee recommended an EMV-based (chip-based) 'Open Loop Card'. These are bank-issued cards on Debit/Credit/Prepaid card product platform... Customer may use this...for payments across all segments."
"The stored value on card supports offline transaction across all travel needs with minimal financial risk... The service area feature...supports operator specific applications, e.g. monthly passes, season tickets etc.," he added.
NCMC ecosystem pilot project with DMRC in national capital
On 31 January, the Center launched an NCMC ecosystem pilot project with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
"Under this pilot, NCMC-compliant gates have been deployed at various (DMRC) stations...cards have been issued by multiple banks to the users. First-level trials have been successfully completed in collaboration with CDAC, BEL, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), and State Bank of India," an official said.
Pilot project with DMRC being tested in certain Metro stations
The pilot project with DMRC is being tested in some Metro stations. "Dedicated gates have been deployed at certain Metro stations...we have given some NCMC cards for testing...to our employees," DMRC's spokesperson said.
Earlier in December, AAP-led Delhi government too launched a common mobility card for Metro, Delhi Transport Corporation, and cluster buses. However, these cannot be used for parking, toll, or retail.