ICICI Bank has recently partnered with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Mastercard to launch co-branded credit and debit cards called ICICI Bank Unifare Card, which can double up as Delhi Metro Smart Cards.
The company mentions that these cards have been embedded with the Delhi Metro transit chip along with the debit/credit card chip to support both functionalities. Following this, customers now have to just swipe the card at the station to purchase tokens or recharge their Smart Card balance, thereby skipping the need to wait in queues at ticket vending machines.
ICICI Bank mentions that these cards will also feature an added facility of auto top-up of fare balance, which automatically recharges the amount on the transit chip when the fare balance falls below a specified threshold limit. This feature is triggered at the start of a journey.
Consumers will also be able to redeem reward points accumulated from their regular purchases and shopping for free metro rides.
Besides this, Unifare Card will also offer 10% discount on metro travel fare, 2.5% discount on fuel surcharge at HPCL petrol pumps and a minimum 15% discount at restaurants across India which are part of ICICI Bank’s ‘Culinary Treats’ programme.
Applying for the card: Existing ICICI Bank debit/credit cards holders can apply for this card by simply placing a request through the customer care helpline, or by visiting the bank’s branches.
Other customers can apply for these cards by sending a text ‘UNIFARE C’ for credit cards or ‘UNIFARE D’ for debit cards to 5676766. Alternatively, they can also visit the bank’s branches to apply for the card. The bank hopes to issue 100,000 such cards by March 2015.
Last May, ICICI Bank and DMRC had also launched an online recharge facility for Smart Card users. Following the online recharge, one had to head over to an Add Value Machines (AVM) present on select metro stations to complete the recharge process.
ICICI Bank mentions that it has also tied-up with metro rail operators in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore to launch similar cards for metro commuters.
In July 2011, SBI Bank had also partnered with Bangalore Metro to launch NFC-enabled debit cards, that doubles up as travel smart cards.