Have been reading through the Tender posted by BMRCL on their website inviting tenders from Mobile operators to setup and maintain a top-up system similar to the prepaid top-up system http://bmrc.co.in/pdf/tenders/etopupof%20smart%20cards.pdf
Excerpt from the document on BMRCL's website -
For ease of commuter traveling by “Namma Metro”, BMRCL will be issuing 11-digit Metro Contactless Smart Cards (herein after referred to as CSC) to commuters, which could be recharged with requisite amounts as and when required by the Commuters.
The CSC is configured to enable multiple top up through:
•Ticket Office Machines (TOM)
•Ticket Vending Machines (TVM)
• ATMs (Currently SBI)
•Net banking (currently SBI)
•Mobile Phone banking
•Mobile phone using Scratch card & SMS
I would like to invite your thoughts on the following observations-
1. While going all out to enable as many means of recharge as possible which is very much welcome, BMRCL might be limiting online recharging only to customers of SBI.
Given that most, if not all, firms choose to pay through a bank account invariably linked to an ATM card these days, the most logical method of recharge might as well be a linked bank account that automatically tops-up the smart card with a fixed amount, say Rs 250 as soon as the charge level goes below a certain fixed amount.
This avoids queuing up at Ticket offices/Ticket Vending machines/ATM's/Mobile phone retail outlets.
2. The logic of recharging using scratch card/SMS via retail outlets might also seem a bit dated and probably works well for prepaid mobile recharge which has no concept of linkage to service end point unlike the Metro smart card which most often will be recharged around close proximity to metro stations. Unless ofcourse, BMRCL decides to use it as a contactless payment method at retail outlets, like many other Public transport companies worldwide, which will go a long way in integrating services other than transportation.