As per a news item in the Economic Times of India, the government has asked banks to ensure that all new cards and reissues of old cards have the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) as a default option with contactless or near-field function facilities.
National Common Mobility Card is an inter-operable transport card conceived by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs of the Government of India. It was launched on 4 March 2019.
NCMC is a multi-purpose transport card that can be used across India for Metro, Bus & Train travel. NCMC-featured cards can be utilized for travel or any other offline transactions (Tap & Go) such as parking, toll fare, etc. The card can also be used for Retail Shopping & Online Transactions.
At present, Cards issued on the RuPay platform are mostly NCMC compliant, cards issued by most lenders including both private and public sector banks, are not issuing NCMC cards with NFC* functions. This is because other payment networks are yet to have this facility as they are still waiting to get the authentication certification from the requisite authorities. Hence, the direction issued by the Government will likely push banks to issue more cards on the RuPay platform, as a majority of NCMC-enabled cards are on the RuPay network.
*NFC is an abbreviation for Near-field communication (NFC). It is a short-range wireless connectivity technology that uses magnetic field induction to enable communication between devices when they’re touched together or brought within a few centimeters of each other. A user must be within 3.5 inches (10 cm) of an NFC terminal to process a payment or open a door. NFC technology also powers contactless payments via mobile wallets like PayTm, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, as well as contactless cards.