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.
“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.
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.