Indian Railways’ ticketing system may soon go cashless and paperless. If the railways have its ways, it will soon begin selling unreserved tickets through digital wallets like PayTM, JioMoney and Airtel Money.
The move will not only ease rush at booking counters but also help in curbing ticketless travelling that causes a huge revenue loss to the government.
Moving ahead with Centre’s ‘Digital India’ mission, the railways expect to make the e-wallet system operational across the country early next year. The move is also expected to help scale up paperless mobile ticketing operation across the country in a big way, a railway ministry official said.
A proposal in this regard has been given to railway minister Suresh Prabhu who has given his consent to implement the same.
RAILWAY’S DIGITAL MAKEOVER
So far the railways has been selling online reserved tickets but selling unreserved tickets online will help in reducing long queues in a big way.
“We are primarily eyeing the over 1 crore railway passengers every day. While 14.7 lakh reserved tickets are booked daily, railways sell 1 crore unreserved tickets per day,” an official said.
Unreserved ticketing forms a huge chunk of the railways’ total ticket sale in a day and we want to tap this sector through ecommerce, he added.
The railways carry total 23 million passengers in a day, of which only six per cent is in reserved category and the rest are in unreserved segment which includes daily commuters.
The railways will not have to bear any cost for the facility. Instead, the public transporter is expected to earn from the selected e-wallet players commission on each ticket sold and retainer fees.
The move is a win-win proposition for both the railways and the mobile wallet companies, the official said.
At present, mobile ticketing options are available in a few suburban sections.