National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) was launched in March 2019, with the tagline ‘One Nation One Card’. It is a single combo card offering a combination of a Debit / Credit with a prepaid card. A customer holding an NCMC card needs not to carry multiple cards with him for using the different purposes. The Debit / Credit component of NCMC would be used in the online environment whereas the prepaid component would be used in the offline environment, wherever offline payments are permitted. The customers may use these cards for payments across all segments including metro, bus, suburban railways, toll, parking, smart city, and retail. The service area feature of this card supports operator-specific applications like monthly passes season tickets etc.
Until recently, the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) System deployed at various Metros is from foreign players. In order to avoid the vendor lock-in and create an interoperable system, there was a need to develop indigenous standards and an AFC system under the Make in India initiative. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had set up the Nandan Nilekani committee who has floated the idea of the NCMC. The offline prepaid transactions would be effected without Additional Factor of Authentication (AFA) which was permitted only for the transit payments, to begin with, owing to the fast checkout time required for such transactions. The NCMC-compliant RuPay debit card can be used by passengers from any part of the country for seamless travel, Shopping, financial transactions, among others across the country.
Source: NPCI Concept Note on NCMC Implementation