Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) has begun doing its homework 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, BMRCL has started the process on the financial front also.

The selected bank will have the sole rights on transactions of tickets and, in turn, will have to pay royalty to BMRCL.

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