The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has partnered ICICI Bank for the launch of this automated fare collection process. According to the DMRC, 7 in 10 commuters use smart cards and 17,000 are sold every day from the various Delhi Metro stations on the network.
According to TechGig.com, Delhi Metro commuters can top up their smart cards using either credit or debit cards online or a mobile device at the following links: www.delhimetrorail.com or www.dmrcsmartcard.com
Topping up the amount is straightforward. The user simply enters the amount along with the number found on the back of the Delhi Metro smart card. Users also need to enter their e-mail address, and then finally choose either credit or debit. Currently, net banking facilities are not available, which is rather interesting as ICICI Bank already has net banking facilities available for topping up prepaid mobile phones and even DTH connections.
However, and here's the part that doesn't make topping up that easy if you think about it.
After topping up, commuters have to physically validate their recharge by using the Ticket Reader Add Value Machine, which have only been installed at 13 Delhi Metro stations, according to this chart from the DMRC.
The problem with this scenario is quite evident and clear: if your point of departure isn't on the listed 13 Delhi Metro stations, you have to pay to go the nearest one and then validate your smart card. Perhaps in due time all Delhi Metro stations will be equipped with the machines. Until then, this will be more of an inconvenience for those who have topped up their smart cards and didn't know in advance.
As I previously discussed in an earlier article, the DMRC will also soon be introducing the Delhi Metro app. From a commuter's perspective, it would be desirable to have the new smart card recharge facility available from within the app itself, and also introduce net banking facilities in its next release.