On 4th March, 2019 (on the auspicious day of Mahashivratri), Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the indigenously-developed National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) to enable people to pay multiple kinds of transport charges, including metro services and toll tax, across the country. A Mobility card is a Smart Card which is used for your metro rail, local trains or bus travels and is rechargeable.
Dubbed as ‘One Nation One Card’, the inter-operable transport card would allow the holders to pay for their multiple needs apart from those of travel such as toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and even for withdraw cash from ATMs. The Prime Minister launched the NCMC scheme while inaugurating the first phase of 6.5 KMs of the Ahmedabad (the commercial capital of Gujarat) metro train service.
NCMC uses the infrastructure and technology of RuPay card. Prior to RuPay which is indigenous, India used to rely upon foreign technology of VISA, AMEX and or MasterCard which resulted in huge Forex outflows while restraining the card payment facility to un urban phenomenon. This also resulted in localised solutions towards mobility payments, for example, a Delhi Metro card could not be used for travelling in Mumbai Metro. Only a select few countries have this technology of ‘One Nation One Card’.
Meanwhile, an official release said that NCMC cards are a bank-issued cards on debit/credit/pre-paid card product platform which would be linked to the account of the person to whom the card would be issued. The major challenge associated with the Automatic Fare Collection System (AFC) implementation in the country until now is the lack of indigenous solution provider. RuPay infrastructure which would ensure interoperability would resolve that. It is important to note that the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) came out with the NCMC program.