Technical glitches plague Kochi-1 card usage

Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) and Axis Bank are facing flak for problems associated with Kochi-1 travel card usage, even as efforts are on to increase the footfall in the transport system.

Much of the problems are associated with the uploading of KYC (Know Your Customer) documents to validate the card and mobile app, using which regular commuters get 20% discount and those who have availed monthly pass get 33% discount. The problems have been compounded by hassles associated with the renewal of cards after their validity lapsed following the pandemic-induced lockdown, it is learnt.

This has, over time, given impetus to the demand that the metro agency rope in yet another bank in the transaction process. “This will provide commuters an alternative to bank on. KMRL must also do away with paper tickets and issue tokens as is done in other metros,” said Ebenser Chullikkat, an RTI activist.

Metro sources said the main complaint from card and app users was problems in uploading KYC documents, with the system rejecting applications where there were minor changes in signatures or photographs. “We have directed the bank to redress such technical issues within a specific time frame. Submission of KYC documents as per RBI norms is all the more important since commuters can also use the card as a debit card for commercial transactions,” they said.

The bank’s response on this is awaited. The bank had in 2015 won the bid for readying an Automated Fare Collection (AFC) system for Kochi metro. Apart from bearing the expenses of the AFC system, the bank had agreed to pay ₹209 crore as royalty to KMRL over a 10-year period. Part payment of the amount has been done.

The Kochi-1 cards get blocked on non-production or reactivation of KYC documents. Commuters are informed by the bank to resubmit their KYC proof. This can be done using the e-KYC submission mode or written applications may be submitted at metro stations. Doubts may be clarified through the bank’s call centre that functions from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The validity of cards may be renewed by visiting any metro station. The balance in the account would be transferred within five working days, said official sources.

Over a lakh Kochi-1 cards were distributed since 2017 when the metro’s Aluva-Palarivattom stretch was commissioned.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 6:29:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/technical-glitches-plague-kochi-1-card-usage/article37724822.ece

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