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Indian Railways to go Cashless for Ticket Bookings

Indian Railways is likely to introduce digital ticket booking system across its offline counters as the government is encouraging every industry to go digital and ditch hard cash transactions. It is likely to tie up with the banks named State Bank of India and ICICI for providing a hassle-free payment gateway for the passengers by introducing PoS (Point of Scale) terminals.

As per the reports, Indian Railways are in talks with the SBI and ICICI banks and other leading banks for introducing 15,000 PoS machines for booking tickets at reservation counters. The officials are planning to implement this service by the end of 15th December 2016.

Up to now, Indian Railways didn’t provide the option to pay via card at ticket booking counters and users can book tickets digitally only at IRCTC (Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation) website. Currently, the railways don’t provide any PoS service for credit and debit card payments.

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“Already we have been offering cashless ticketing options through the IRCTC website. More than 58 percent of the train accommodation board through e-ticketing. Since the remaining load is not too much, railways going cashless are viable,” said a Railway official.

In a bid to help the passengers instead standing in long queues and waiting for the ticket booking, Indian Railways has decided to allow passengers to book unreserved tickets at many railway stations. This mobile ticketing facility is now available at few cities namely Mumbai, Secunderabad, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata.

“We have around 12,000 ticket counters. All of them would be equipped with one or more POS machines depending on the daily transactions. Managing cash is also an enormous task for our staff. It would be beneficial for them as well if we could have enough swipe machines,” a rail board official mentioned.

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Initially, this digital cashless ticketing is going to introduce in urban areas, and it would be done phase wise throughout the country. “In places like Mumbai, where there’s a massive sale of monthly passes, we would have POS machines installed immediately. SBI has promised to provide 1,000 machines,” said by the official.

Ola Partners with SBI and PNB for Mobile ATMs

India’s largest ride-hailing service Ola cabs have partnered with State Bank of India (SBI) and Punjab National Bank (PNB) to ease the cash crunch in the country. The company has rolled out the initiative test in the cities of Kolkata and Hyderabad.

In a bid to help the people who are facing problems due to demonetization, the Ola has introduced the POS machines in Kolkata and Hyderabad in its cabs. People were suffering from the cashless situation after 500 and 1000 rupees ban and the rush at banks, and ATMs has also increased.

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With banks and ATMs are not able to control the rush for access to lower the demonetization or new currency, the POS machines was introduced at 3700 petrol pumps. In the same way, the Ola has announced its new mobile ATM where taxies with bank officer and POS device will park at different locations to dispense Rs. 2000 per card.

The Chief Operating Officer of Ola, Pranay Jivrajka said that “the initial response has been tremendous and the company was exploring with banks to expand this service to other cities with cash being dispensed on the go rather than a current experiment of cars being parked at a particularly busy point”.

Ola has joined with Punjab National Bank (PNB) in Kolkata, and it has collaborated with Andhra Bank and State Bank of India (SBI) at Hyderabad.

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According to the reports, the new Ola service is available in the areas like Chandini Chowk Metro Station, Esplanade Metro, Barabazaar, Salt Lake, Exide and Rashbehari (in Kolkata). And also the popular areas of Hyderabad like KBR Park, Inorbit Mall, and JNTU.

Following the Government move to scrap black money and ban of 500 and 1000 rupee notes, there has long queues at banks and ATMs as the people lined up to draw valid currency.