Vodafone India, one of India’s leading telecommunications service providers and Bharat BPO, the official Rail Sampark partner of Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) today announced a strategic partnership to facilitate online booking of railway tickets through mobile phone with Vodafone M-Pesa as payment option.
Vodafone M-Pesa, a unique mobile money transfer and payment service has tied up with Bharat BPO (BBPO) to enable this safe, secure and convenient ticketing transaction through the mobile phone. The introduction of this service application will put an end to the long wait in queues at railway booking counters providing convenience to customers as they can now book e-tickets on the go anytime, from anywhere.
Customers will have to download the extremely user friendly mobile application “139 Railways Reservation” only once, post which it does not require any data connection for registration or booking of tickets. Vodafone customers can download the application by sending an SMS “TICKET” to 111. Once accessed, the app prompts users with interactive and guided menu options towards booking tickets.
Speaking on this initiative, Suresh Sethi, Business Head – M-Pesa, Vodafone India said “We are pleased to further strengthen our service proposition and announce this partnership with BBPO, the exclusive rail sampark partner for IRCTC. This would open up and extend the convenience and efficiency of e-Commerce and online services to those unbanked millions who are operating with cash and are otherwise excluded from this eco-system. This new app based offering empowers our customers to book railway e-tickets, seek PNR status, cancel tickets, get refunds, all at their own convenience, through their mobile handset. We are extending a highly safe and secure technology platform that works even for customers who do not have an Internet connection.”
Jatinder Verma, CEO, Bharat BPO Services Ltd. said: “This innovative offering will make rail e-ticket booking easy for customers as they can book tickets from anywhere. This is the real edge of mobility that will touch new dimensions in mobile usage. The esteemed relationship with Vodafone M-Pesa and their tremendous reach towards the masses will definitely make this initiative a success.”
Speaking on this partnership, Mrs. A. K. Brar, Director, Tourism & Marketing, IRCTC says, “We are delighted that Vodafone M-Pesa has partnered BBPO to facilitate railway e-ticket bookings on the go. We are confident that this association will play a transformational role in both, providing a never before holistic service proposition even for the unbanked sections of society and simultaneously be a lifestyle enhancer since it does away with waiting in queues at railway stations to book tickets.”
Vodafone M-Pesa customers can send in their booking details through the “139 Railways Reservation” app and only have to enter their M-PIN to authorize the transaction. Additionally, information on partial/full cancellation, PNR Status etc. can also be accessed through the mobile application. In case of cancellations, relevant refund will be credited to the customer’s Vodafone M-Pesa wallet. The service is a highly secure one, available only through the mobile number which is registered with IRCTC during the registration process.
The SMS based booking on 139 is available for all feature phone customers. The application is also compatible with Android and J2ME handsets.