Indian Railways going cashless, no service charge on online booking

Guwahati

The facility to make payment for booking online tickets through digital payment options such as credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets has been available for some time now. But recently, to give a boost to the digital modes of transactions, Indian Railways goes cashless and withdrew service charge on online booking of tickets.

Going paperless by choosing digitization has been one of the priorities of government and to take this initiative a step ahead, Piyush Goyal led Indian Railways has introduced multiple schemes for cashless transactions. One of the major steps by Indian Railways has been facilitating and further streamlining online booking of railways tickets through official web portal of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

The facility to make payment for booking online tickets through digital payment options such as credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets has been available for some time now. But recently, to give a boost to the digital modes of transactions, Indian Railways withdrew service charge on online booking of tickets.

The national transporter has also tied up with State Bank of India in order to set up 10,000 Point of Sale (POS) machines across various locations of Indian Railways including PRS, UTS ticket booking counters and parcel or goods locations. Also, looking at the current scenario where a large section of population has access to smartphones, the facility of ticket booking though mobiles have been introduced by Indian Railways, where the user can book his/her ticket by opting for online payment mode. In addition to this, Indian Railways now also accepts payments made through international credit or debit cards, issued outside Indian territory.

In order to boost sale of unreserved railway tickets, numerous Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) have been introduced by the national transporter. Under this facility, the payment for ticket booking can be made through smart cards. In another major scheme by Indian Railways, with came into effect from January 1, 2017 upto March 31, 2018, on purchase of season tickets through digital mode, a discount of 0.5 per cent is provided.

Also to make the train journey secure, the railways introduced an optional travel insurance scheme with coverage of Rs 10 lakh at premium of Rs 0.92 per passenger, who book ticket through IRCTC web portal. Moreover, the insurance scheme is being provided free of cost from December 10, 2016, which has been extended upto August 31, 2018.

In addition to these, a 5 per cent discount is provided for digital payment of catering services. The date to avail this facility has been extended upto March 31, 2018. Also, under the new catering policy 2017, provisions have been made for installation of cashless transaction facilities like POS, swipe machine etc. across all mobile and static units.

January 1, 2017 onwards, a discount of 5 per cent is given on online booking of retiring rooms. Also, the national transporter has decided to provide a discount of 5 per cent on the total value of basic fare in PRS reserved counter ticket subject to maximum amount of discount on a ticket, cost Rs 50, which have been booked through Unified Payment Interface (UPI) including Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) subject to value of ticket being Rs 100 or more.

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