Seeking to promote greater e-transaction for commuters, the Delhi Metro on Wednesday announced a new facility that will enable riders to get their smart cards auto-topped up with money at AFC gates. Officials said the facility will be available for use across the DMRC network whenever the services resume. Delhi Metro services have been closed since March 22 in view of the Covid-19 situation.
"Delhi Metro commuters will now be able to avail the facility of a new type of smart card which comes with an auto-top up feature enabling them to recharge it automatically at AFC (automatic fare collection) gates of the netro stations," the DMRC said in a statement. This new smart card is available for customers through the app 'Autope' which is specially developed for this purpose, it said.
Officials said the old smart card issued by the DMRC can also be upgraded to avail this facility. Mangu Singh, Managing Director, DMRC, said this initiative is in line with the DMRC's commitment towards supporting the digital drive to promote cashless transactions among the Delhi Metro commuters.
"This new feature or the card empowers a commuter to get his or her smart card auto-topped up at AFC gates across the network which will help him or her to have seamless travel without worrying about top-up from time to time," he said. The new smart cards issued by 'Autope' will offer auto top-up functionality whenever the value of the goes below Rs 100 and will automatically recharge the card with Rs 200 at the AFC entry gate itself. 'Autope' will auto-debit the topped up value from customer's linked card or bank account the next working day, the statement said.
To avail the services of 'Autope' Smart Card, the users will be required to register by downloading the 'Autope' app (available on Google Play store for Android users and soon on Apple store for iPhone users), officials said. They can also register at Autope's site and link their bank account or credit card or UPI account to their smart card as a one-time exercise. A nominal fee (maximum of 1 per cent) will be charged as convenience fee from the customer for each transaction, the statement said.
"In addition, those commuters who already have existing Delhi Metro smart cards, they can also get the auto top-up feature enabled in their cards by registering through this app (Autope)," it said. Such existing card holders need to visit the customer care centre of any of the metro stations after three days of registration to get their smart cards activated for this facility as a one-time exercise.
"This feature comes handy at these times wherein, commuters are going to follow a new travel protocol, whenever metro services resume, which calls for social distancing and contactless services due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," the statement said. However, irrespective of the new card or a new feature, the existing smart cards owned by the commuters will continue to remain valid in the same manner as they used to be so far, it said.
Apart from auto-top-up facility, the benefits extended by 'Autope' also include home delivery of new cards, besides their customisation facility and 5 per cent additional discount on each top up, the DMRC said.