In about six months, Bangalore Metropolitan Transoport Corporation (BMTC) is expected to unveil the smart card, that will come in prepaid, debit and credit variants.
The IT Sections of BMTC and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) are already working on creating an interface which will enable Metro cards to be used on BMTC buses and BMTC’s smart cards on the Namma Metro.
Part of Intelligence Transport System
Electronic ticketing machines and smart cards are part of BMTC’s plan of creating an Intelligent Transport System (ITS).
Interestingly, BMTC has roped in financial institutions to bring out the new common mobility cards. It recently issued a letter of interest to Axis Bank to provide the facility.
“Ours is a smart card and debit/credit card combo,” BMTC’s Director (IT) Kumar Pushkar said.
“The idea is to be able to travel, withdraw money and even shop using just one card. This is the first time that this kind of a business model is being applied to smart cards in the whole country. So, instead of spending close to `200 crore just to set up the system, we are going to be making revenue out of it,” Kumar added.
The cards work as a contact-less chip for transportation purposes and as a contact Euro Master Visa (EMV) for banking purposes.
Over the last couple of months, BMTC and BMRCL have also been discussing how the two can be put together to be used as a common mobility card.
Specifications of the Namma Metro cards were discussed to ensure that the card could be read by BMTC’s electronic ticketing machines while the latter’s cards can be read by BMRCL.
‘First Step Towards Seamless Travel’
Welcoming the move, BMRCL MD Pradeep Singh Kharola said, “It is the first step in providing seamless travel between BMTC and Namma Metro.”
“It is a win-win situation for the bank as well as BMTC. The bank gets a huge customer base and a percentage of any transaction using the card. Moreover, travellers need not carry multiple cards for different purposes, which also helps reduce the risk of theft on buses,” Pushkar added.
To recharge the prepaid cards, BMTC will be setting up recharge points at its traffic and transit management centres.
It will also install software to provide online recharge facilities and is also working on providing mobile recharge facilities.
According to Pushkar, the bank would charge a transaction fee of 0.69 per cent on prepaid cards and 1.12 per cent on credit and debit cards.
The BMTC would get a royalty fee of 0.03 per cent from each transaction.
When asked about the number of common mobility cards which BMTC would be bringing out in the first phase, Pushkar said it would depend on the demand.
“However, we expect about 50 per cent of the commuters to shift to the cards, which would work out to nearly 25 lakh cards initially,” he added.