UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Ltd (UTI-ITSL), the Government of India company, has received a license from the Reserve Bank of India, allowing it to set up a prepaid payments wallet service. This, it is mentioned the notice from the RBI, is for the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC), also known as the More Card. The license was issued on the 21st of March 2014, and is valid up to the 31st of March 2019. The announcement was made by the RBI earlier this month.
After the grant of this license, the More Card can possibly be used for not just transport services being provided by UTI-ITSL, but can also be used as a generic card for payment of services across merchants, in the same way that Airtel Money, Itz Cash Card, Paytm, Mobikwik, Reliance Jio’s yet-to-be-launched Jio Money, can be used for shopping on multiple sites and with multiple merchants. As an example, imagine if you could pay for a coffee at a Delhi Metro station using your Delhi Metro card. Note that the Delhi Metro uses the more card now. The More Card website doesn’t appear to be functioning at the time of filing this report.
To give you a sense of the potential: the Delhi Metro, which uses the More Card as its payment mechanism for both Metro (subway) services and the feeder buses, reported “total ridership” of 702.95 million in FY13, and revenues of Rs 2421.47 crore, much of which would have been for payments through the smart card. They haven’t The Delhi Metro annual report for FY13 can be downloaded here.
The More Card was launched in 2011, with the mandate to allow the usage of multiple modes of transportation via a single card. According to the press release: “The Ministry of Urban Development, under the National Urban Transport Policy, envisages a single ticketing system over not only all modes of public transport in India but also for parking and toll. For this purpose, it is spearheading a national program of inter-operable Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) systems. This means that a single CMC card can be used across cities and different modes of transport. The implementation of ‘More’ will be partly funded by Central Government under the JnNURM scheme covering the buses sanctioned under the scheme.”
UTI-ITSL was appointed the technology aggregator for the project.
Image source: Wikipedia