Invites proposals to select acquirer bank; royalty to cushion operational costs

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) has begun preparations for the commercial launch of Namma Metro services on Reach 3, 3A and 3B (Hessarghatta-Peenya-Yeshwanthpur-Swastik) by inviting scheduled banks to be the merchant acquirer bank for its automated fare collection (AFC) system.

BMRCL has promised to open this stretch for passenger traffic by December this year.

While work on laying tracks, providing signalling and telecommunication facilities, and civil work at 13 stations are under way, the corporation has started the process on the financial front. The bank so selected will have the sole rights on transactions of different kinds of tickets and, in turn, will have to pay royalty to BMRCL.

The acquirer bank will provide card readers at the automated fare collection (AFC) centres of the metro stations. The AFC contractor will integrate these machines with the ticketing office for the sale of smart cards and their top-ups. To credit the transactions to BMRCL, the acquirer bank will settle the account on a daily basis.

While BMRCL will pay fixed charges and also merchant service charges to State Bank of India based on the number of transactions, the acquirer bank will have to pay royalty to BMRCL as the corporation has agreed to associate itself with the bank. The corporation may consider extending the contract with the select bank to all other reaches of Namma Metro network on mutually agreeable terms. In such an event, fixed and service charges payable by BMRCL and royalty payable by the bank will be decided on pro-rata basis, BMRCL said.

BMRCL had selected State Bank of India as the acquirer bank for Reach 1. Besides being the acquirer bank, SBI had launched combo cards — travel-cum-ATM cards for its customers. The corporation has now invited request for proposals from banks for the new reach and the last date to submit bids is February 29.