In keeping pace with its modernization drive and government’s push towards a cashless economy, Indian Railways may soon introduce the option of booking unreserved tickets through mobile wallets.
The move is being pitched as a potential game changer as the national carrier plans to put up QR codes at all the railway stations. Quick Response Codes are machine readable codes that can be used to perform specific actions. They can be read by cameras or smartphones and direct the user to specific URLs. This will allow unreserved passengers to buy tickets by entering the destinations, scanning the code and paying through mobile wallets.
This will help decongest the railway ticket counters.
Picture for representation only. Source: Flickr
Krishnan Dharmarajan of the Centre for Digital Financial Inclusion stated that QR codes are a good idea, especially where there are clear fixed payments to be made.
The Modi government has called for making India a cashless economy to curb black money transactions and cut the cost of moving physical currency notes. Railways is also taking out an integrated mobile app that will allow passengers to hire cabs, order food, and book hotel rooms as well. The app will feature a host of services such as pre-booked coolies, tour packages and car rentals. Indian Railways caters to almost 13 million passengers everyday, out of which nearly 12 million are unreserved passengers. The Railways have pegged passenger earnings growth at 12.4 % and the earnings target has accordingly been budgeted at Rs 51,012 crore for the current financial year. Consultant firm Ernst and Young has been engaged for the project that holds opportunities for the Railways to ramp up revenues and perk up the decrepit, loss-making public transporter that has suffered years of under-investment. Indian Railways is all set to make train journeys a delightful experience.