The government has requested banks to assure that all new cards and reissues of old cards have the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) as a default choice with contactless or near-field function facilities. The missive, sent earlier this month, will likely push banks to issue more cards on the RuPay platform, as a majority of NCMC-enabled cards are on the RuPay network. A senior official stated the development and said lenders are projected to have all their cards equipped with NCMC features, including an offline wallet.
"It was observed that most lenders, including both private and public sector banks, are not issuing NCMC cards with NFC functions," he said, explaining the motive behind the recent directive. A contactless card is a chip card with an inbuilt radio frequency antenna that allows transactions of a certain value without entering PIN details. The NCMC card works as both a debit card and a wallet. It is primarily used for travel on metros and other transport systems. It can also be used for retail and online payments.
In its communication to banks, the government has noted that in order to promote one card in all payment systems across the country and facilitate small digital daily payments, it is essential that contactless cards are NCMC-compliant. Bankers said while most cards on the RuPay platform are compliant, cards issued on other payment networks are yet to have this facility as they are still waiting to get the authentication certification from the requisite authorities. "While most cards on the RuPay platform are fully compliant, there may be some cases where cards issued on other networks don't have this facility. We will have another round of meetings with all stakeholders to iron out such issues."