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NCMC: Streamlined Mobility Card



  Sep 13, 2023

National Common Mobility Card (NCMC): Simplified


Imagine having a single card that allows you to effortlessly access metros, buses, trains, and make retail payments without the hassle of multiple cards or cash. That's the idea behind the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC), introduced in 2019 in India.
 

What is NCMC?

One Card for Everything: NCMC is a contactless card designed to serve as a universal payment method for various modes of transportation, including metros, buses, and trains, as well as for everyday retail purchases.
 

How It Works:

Types of NCMCs: NCMCs come in prepaid, debit (RuPay), and soon-to-be-issued credit card forms.
 
Buying a Prepaid Card: You can buy a prepaid NCMC at metro stations after completing some online verification at your bank's platform.
 
Debit Cards: Debit NCMCs are issued directly by banks.
 
Interoperable: NCMCs can be used across different cities and modes of transportation, making them incredibly convenient for travelers.
 
Relinking: When moving to a new city, you might need to relink your card to the local metro corporation if your card's issuing bank is different from the one partnering with that metro.
 

Challenges and Uptake:

Limited Usage: NCMCs currently have limitations, such as not being accepted on some bus and local train networks in certain cities.
 
Awareness Issues: There is often a lack of awareness among metro corporation employees who may promote their in-house smart cards instead of NCMCs.
 
Competition with UPI: The popularity of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for small transactions has affected the widespread adoption of NCMCs.
 
Government Push: To encourage NCMC use, the government has directed banks to make it the default option for new RuPay debit cards.
 

Other Use Cases:

Parental Control: NCMCs are useful for parents who want to give their children a monthly allowance and track their expenses.
 
Instant Payments: NCMCs offer the convenience of tap-and-pay without needing a PIN, unlike UPI payments.
 
While NCMCs aim to simplify payments and transit access, their widespread adoption may face challenges in a market where digital payment methods like UPI are already popular. However, they remain a promising solution for seamless mobility and payments in India.


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