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Delhi Metro gets a mass transit wallet from the RBI


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The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has got a wallet licence from the Reserve Bank of India. Interestingly, the DMRC has got a mass transit prepaid payment instrument (PPI) issuer licence. The RBI website shows that DMRC was given the licence last month and is valid up to March 31, 2022.

Note that the RBI introduced in July 2015 a new semi-closed pre-paid instrument for mass transit services to help move on from cash-based systems to electronic means. The new instrument will allow users to load Rs 2,000 and have a minimum validity period of six months from the date of issue.

Some of the other features of the new instrument are:

– No cash-out or refund will be permitted from these wallets.
– The instrument can also be used at other merchants whose activities are allied to or are carried on within the premises of the issuing mass transit system. An example:  The Delhi Metro could issue a wallet service which can be used to buy food at the food stalls in the station.
– The issuer may decide upon the desired level of KYC, if any, for such PPIs
– The instrument must have an Automated Fare Collection application related to the transit service.

Note that ICICI Bank had launched a smart card for the Delhi Metro back in 2014. In July 2011, State Bank of India had also partnered with Bangalore Metro to launch NFC-enabled debit cards, that doubles up as travel smart cards.

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Meanwhile, Axis Bank said it would be launching smart cards for commuters on the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation  (BMTC) buses and Kochi Metro Rail to make digital payments.

Perhaps Kochi Metro and the BMTC could look into the wallet system as well. MediaNama had pointed earlier out that despite the huge potential, no one has tried to fix public transportation payments and it’s something that all wallet players could look into.

Hong Kong has a smart card for digital payments called Octopus card which can be used for all public transport in the city. London has Oyster card which can be used to pay for fares for the London Underground, London Buses, the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), London Overground, Tramlink, some river boat services, and most National Rail services. Dubai has a electronic ticketing card called NoI card which can be used in all public transport systems.

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  • Grimmjow

    why launch your own wallet? why not just use existing ones like it works right now through PayTM etc.

    • Shashidar KJ

      Paytm’s acceptance infrastructure for mass transit systems is not fast enough. A smart card transaction needs to happen in the order of milliseconds so that a turnstile opens and allows a passenger to move quickly. Validating a payment on Paytm takes time and will result in long queues. There will also be issues of cell phone coverage on the Paytm wallet. NFC tech is best for these situations.

      • Brijesh Sharma

        Dear Shashidar Ji,
        I fully agree with you on the subject matter and also added that DMRC should be upgrade their systems for NFC Doors at the metro stations, many time I have seen that mostly automatic doors are not working or having problems.

  • Avn nr

    Apart from Oyster card in London you can tap on and off with your Credit or Debit card with RFID chip also use Apple Pay and Android pay. Why India wants numerous wallets like Paytm, Phone Pe and so on when this can be managed with your bank issued Rupay or Visa/Master cards.