What Is the National Common Mobility Card?

By Debasis Mohanty . October 31, 2023 . Blogs

Powered by contactless technology, the National Common Mobility Card (or NCMC) is fast emerging as the default choice for cashless transactions among Indian commuters. Launched in 2019, NCMC enables travelers to access different modes of transport across the country. Currently, it is accepted in transport systems, including Delhi & Mumbai Metro rail, Mumbai’s BEST bus service, and Kerala’s Kadamba Transport.

Through this blog, we will shed light on NCMC’s features and benefits.


NCMC – A Primer

Designed for the convenience of Indian commuters, the NCMC is another addition to the country’s evolving payment system. Aimed to facilitate transport mobility, the NCMC enables seamless connectivity across metros and other transport systems nationwide. Enabled by India’s efficient RuPay system, it’s an effort towards integrating the country’s public transport system.

The NCMC is India’s answer to the need for a unified contactless payment solution. Developed by NPCI, it supports various formats, including prepaid, debit, and credit cards. Further, over 25 banks, including SBI, Punjab National Bank, and Paytm are issuing this card.

Besides enabling travel, commuters can also use NCMC for online shopping, withdrawing cash, and paying toll tax. 

How does NCMC work? 

Fitted with an NFC chip, this mobility card stores the user’s information and enables data transfer when accessed by a compatible card-reading device. To use this card, users have to link the card to their bank account or any digital wallet – and transfer minimum funds to the card.


Features of NCMC

Here are some of the key features of NCMC that make it an exciting prospect in the Indian market:

Seamless Interoperability

Interoperability is among the core features and benefits of NCMC. Indian commuters can use the same card across various transport modes, including road and rail. Notably, as more Indians opt for public transport, this feature enables them to carry the same card for all travel-related purposes.

Cashless Payments

NCMC enables cashless transactions by reducing the need to carry physical cash. Besides, commuters can load cash into this card through their mobile app or digital wallets. 

Contactless Technology

As mentioned before, NCMC operates using contactless NFC technology. This means commuters can complete their payments by simply tapping the card on a compatible reader. With this feature, commuters can reduce financial risks or frauds like card skimming.

Security Features

NCMC can effectively secure the user’s personal and financial information with its secure encryption. Data is stored in a secure chip that makes it challenging for fraudsters to access or break into sensitive information. Besides data encryption, some NCMC transactions require two-factor authentication (2FA). This industry-recognized standard brings an additional layer of protection against any unauthorized use.

Besides these features, NCMC issuers can offer additional facilities like lost card protection. This allows customers to report any loss or theft of their card to their issuers to prevent abuse. NCMC vendors also provide functionalities like easy recharge and travel discounts to boost their adoption in the country.


The Many Benefits of NCMC

Thanks to its interoperability feature, NCMC adoption can increase the number of commuters using public transport. Here are some of the major benefits of NCMC adoption in India:

Lower Demand for Private Transport

With NCMC technology, Indian commuters can seamlessly choose different types of public transport, like public buses, metros, and trains. This can reduce the demand for private transport, thus positively influencing government initiatives aimed at lowering carbon emissions and enhancing environmental sustainability in the country.

Efficient Infrastructure Spending

As more commuters invest in NCMC, transport authorities can track the most preferred mode of public transport through the collected data. This can improve the decision-making process on where to spend the most on public transport infrastructure. Furthermore, transport authorities can be better equipped to design more efficient routes and improve travel amenities for passengers.

Improved Fare Collection

Besides encouraging wider use of public transport, NCMC can potentially boost automatic fare collection across various mediums of public transport. Transport authorities can also offer travel or seasonal discounts to regular commuters, thus making NCMC more cost-effective and convenient for use.

Digital Payments

In a rapidly evolving ecosystem of digital payments, NCMC is a welcome addition that can boost the penetration of online payments in the country. With NCMC, the Indian government can enable the digitalization of low-value payments, thus reducing the implementation costs of the digital payment ecosystem. 

Overall, the NCMC is a great initiative for developing smart and connected cities in the country. Besides encouraging wider use of public transport, NCMC is also extendible to “last-mile” connectivity modes like ride-sharing and electric scooters.


The Way Forward

With the ongoing thrust toward digital payments in the country, the National Common Mobility Card is gaining wider acceptance among authorities, issuers, and travelers. However, the country also faces implementation challenges like insufficient payment infrastructure and integrated technology. This is where a payment solution provider like Verinite can make a difference.

At Verinite, we enable a host of players in the payments industry, like banks, fintech companies, and third-party payment processors, to realize benefits from their investment in digital payments. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help.

Debasis Mohanty

Debasis heads the delivery for all client engagements at Verinite. He has a long track record of delivering high quality, responsive, secure and cost-effective business and technology solutions in BFSI domain. Outside his work, he is an amateur animator, a sports enthusiast, a voracious reader and a Trivia buff.

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