KOCHI: The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) for introducing a common mobility card for the greater Kochi area.
This is the first time that any city in the country is introducing a smart card that can be used for commercial and service transactions besides the Metro transit system.
Mr A.P. Hota, managing director and chief executive officer , NPCI, claimed that even the London Metro did not have such a modern multi-purpose card.
“Being in the form of a chip, it can be used in a card, embedded in a finger ring or watch and or even in a sticker on a cell phone.
The open-ended card can be used in other cities not only for transport but also for commercial and service transactions,” he explained.
The MoU was signed by Mr Elias George, managing director, KMRL and Mr Hota. Discussions are now on with various stakeholders, including bus operators and merchants to install the validating machine for the mobility card.
“It will prove cost effective for both the customers and traders,” said KMRL officers. The multi-purpose mobility card is part of the KMRL’s plans to launch a modern and cost effective ticketing and automatic fare collection system for greater Kochi.
It is developing a one-fare payment instrument for all modes of public transport under the Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA).
The common all India mobility card will be based on RuPay specifications and KMRL and NPCI plan to hold a consultation with the stakeholders to chalk out the project’s scope and terms.
An umbrella organisation of all retail payment systems in the country, the NPCI has been set up by banks with the support of the Indian Banks’ Association.