National Common Mobility Card

Written By Gautham Krishna   | Published on June 15, 2019

Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) has come out with a National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) model to enable seamless travel in different metros and other transport systems across the country besides retail shopping and purchases.

National Common Mobility Card

National Common Mobility Card envisages a single fare media over all systems of public transport for Interoperable Fare Management System (IFMS). This single fare media will bring a seamless travel connectivity across different modes of transport and different operations across different cities in India. The main features of the proposed system are:

  • Interoperable Common Mobility Card across modes of transport and cities

  • Convenience and seamless experience for commuter

  • Economics of scale to bring down costs compared to solo efforts of Public Transport Organizations.


National Common Mobility Card 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. 

Key features of the card is provided below.

  • Payment Model : Card based payment model

  • Transaction Type : Supports online (contact & contactless) & off-line (contactless) transactions

  • Stored Value : Provision to store balance on card for offline payments

  • Provision for multiple service areas :  Multiple service areas (optional to use with mutual concurrence) to support acquirer/operator specific programs e.g. Passes / Season Tickets / Smart City Specific application / Loyalty points etc.

  • Card usage : Same card to be used at ATMs, Merchant establishments & online (ecommerce) payments in addition to other areas of contactless

    payments viz., transit, toll, parking & other small value merchant payments

  • Card issuance : Can be issued by any member authorized by RBI. On the platform of Debit/Prepaid/Credit Cards

  • Topping up the stored value: Provision of Topping up the stored value through any mode of payment viz., Online using card, Internet Banking, IVR, ATM, Cash at customer service point, auto top-up etc. at the option of the issuing entity 

  • Offline Transaction Risk : Since the offline transaction is permitted against stored value on card, there is minimal risk of any loss to the bank or merchant

  • Security : Underlying technology i.e. EMV is best available globally

  • Cost of providing contactless card to the customer : RBI has mandated that effective Feb 01, 2016, all cards issued by banks in India would be EMV. Therefore, cost of providing contactless card to the customer will be only marginal as against steep increase in territories where mag-stripe ecosystem exists 

  • Synergy with existing technology : NCMC specifications can co-exist with the existing technology being used by acquirer/operator and migration to common standards may be achieved gradually to suit the convenience.

Value Proposition

Following are the value proposition of National Common Mobility Card to different stakeholders.

Value Proposition to Customers

  • One card for all small & large payments across various categories; No need to carry multiple cards for different usage

  • Super quick with contactless transactions enabled on the card

  • Digital trail for all transactions

  • No need to stand in a queue

  • Auto Top-up facility; need not to worry for recharge

  • Secured with EMV Technology; Gold standard of card payments

Value Proposition to Acquirers/ Operators

  • Unified cards to support offline and online transaction modes; contactless ability

  • Common standards for standardized operating cost

  • Fast deployment of digital payments due to standardized implementation process

  • Savings on card lifecycle management cost

  • Reduced operating cost on account of lower cash handling, infrastructure & manpower cost

  • Business intelligence with rich data insights aimed at business optimization and ROI based communication

  • May run proprietary loyalty and VAS schemes with high convenience and customer satisfaction

  • No vendor lock in due to open loop standard platform.

Value Proposition to Banks

  • Customer loyalty & stickiness

  • Additional revenue opportunities with large customer base

  • Savings on cost of servicing customers and cash handling

  • Increased usability of bank issued cards due to transit related use case

  • Improved brand image to offer value added products/services

  • Rich data insights with valuable customer data for data analytics


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