Todays generation is an evidence of revolution which’s taken place under the tag of Digital India. So far, face of the Payment industry is changed drastically and that too within last few years. And a good thing is, uprising phase is still in-process.
One of the positive and important outcomes of this is, rise in the Technological awareness within common man. Trust towards technology has grown within Indians. Day by day people are becoming more comfortable with digitalization. Result of which, people have understood the importance of cashless transactions. Per individual average usage of a card or mobile phone to make any payment is now increased. Matter of fact is, people are avoiding cash transactions wherever it’s possible.
Bill payments, Fund transfer, ATM transactions, POS purchase, recharge and top-ups of mobile/DTH, E-commerce, Online Ticketing of movies, transit etc. can be easily done by using any of the options from Cards (Debit, Credit, Prepaid, Gift, Transit etc.), UPI, Online/Digi Banking, e-wallets etc. But each payment method requires its respective product to be used to perform a transaction. Like one cannot use a bank issued standard debit/credit card on all transit systems, a transit card cannot be used at fuel stations, prepaid cards cannot be used everywhere and so on.
National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) identified this gap and came up with a solution of having a ‘single card’ which can support maximum possible payment methods and channels.The card got its name as ‘National Common Mobility Card (NCMC)’ aka ‘RuPay Contactless Card’.
It is based on qSPARC specification, which is NPCI’s Dual Interface Open loop payment specification with the feature of loading multiple payment applications on a single card. This card is supported by diversified sections like retail shops, restaurants, retail outlets, ATM/Kiosk, Vehicle Parking stations, Buses, Cabs, Metros etc.
Some more information like, how to get it? other aspects? pros & cons? etc.
The card can either be a Debit, Credit or Prepaid card. To get this card, one will need to make an application at Bank. One can apply for a new card or an upgrade for existing one.
As of today, these cards are available with below banks.
NCMC card can be issued by any member authorized by RBI. Near future, this card will be available with some more banks as well.
This card can be used at all those channels on which the existing cards are being used in traditional ways. For example, at ATMs, POS & online (ecommerce) payments etc.
On top of it, this card can also be used at additional services such as transit, toll, parking & other small value merchant payments where a traditional bank issued Debit/Credit fails to work.
As the NCMC card is based on qSPARC specifications, this card comes which a unique feature of storing values on card.
It enables Acquirers or Operators to own independent blocks on the payment card. These blocks are referred as ‘Service’.
An acquirer who wishes to implement special function along with the EMV based payments on specific terminals can do so using empty storages area called as ‘service compartment’ or ‘service area’.
Service compartments may contain data which is specific to a particular operator.
Single card is capable of supporting multiple services for payment and non-payment capabilities.
Service area activation:
Card Top up or recharge:
Top up is purely categorized on the basis of types of services.
Let us assume that one wants to use the card at metro station. Then the person will need to top up the card for its respective supported service area like ‘Transit’. Later on, the same topped up amount available on card can be used for other services as well, which falls under same service area.
Below are the options by which a top up can be done.
Comparison between NCMC and Other Proprietary prepaid cards:
|Concern||NCMC – Open loop smart card||Proprietary – Closed loop smart Card|
|Customer Friendly||Customer can use the same card for Metro and Bus travel in all the City and States within the country.||Customer need to buy different cards for transport Systems.|
|Convenience||Customers will use their bank issued NCMC card for fare payment rather than waiting in a queue for card/token/ticket issuance.||Customer may require to stand in queue for card issuance, Top up etc.|
|Loyalty Points||Consumer may benefit from loyalty/reward points from partner banks, as provided in case of Debit and Credit cards.||No such provision. Any such loyalty and discount are cost to the Public Transport Operators.|
|Minimum Infrastructure||Public Transport Operators can minimize their cost involved in maintenance of infrastructure and manpower for card issuance, Top-up, card replacement and refunds, as open loop cards can be issued by multiple partner banks.||Each Public Transport Operators need to bear the significant expense for maintenance of infrastructure and manpower for card issuance, Top up, card replacement and refunds.|
|Negotiating Power||As open loop acceptance devices are based on open interoperable standards, there are multiple vendors available for payment acceptance devices, which provide an opportunity for cost and service negotiation.||Closed loop cards may be of proprietary standards, leading to vendor lock in for subsequent purchase and renewals of acceptance devices.|
|No vendor lock in||Open standards-based payment acceptance devices provide the freedom for subsequent purchase and renewals of devices.||Proprietary standards may lead to vendor lock in for subsequent purchase and renewals of acceptance devices.|
|Ease of Implementation||Well standardized payment acceptance devices and availability of multiple vendors provides ease of implementation. Payments related scope of work to be taken care by partner bank and hence PTOs may focus on their key activities.||PTOs need to evaluate multiple proprietary specifications leading to difficulty in implementation.|
|Fast Deployment||Due to similar implementation process, best practices and reference implementation guidelines, there will be standardized procurement practices, and RFPs. This considerably expedites the deployment of digital payments in Public Transport Operators.||Each deployment will have specific requirements and considerable expertise is required by each Public Transport Operators for selection of appropriate solution.|
|Retail acceptance||NCMC open loop card offers acceptance at all the existing retail POS devices.||Closed loop cards can only be accepted within their operating environments.|
Now let us see what are the Pros and Cons:
Future of NCMC: