ABOUT 40 per cent of city residents have availed the ‘e-Paylater’ service of the Railways ahead of the long weekend, said officials. Launched in May, the service allows passengers to book a ticket, including Tatkal ones, on credit.’
‘E-Paylater’, which is associated with the Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), was launched to help passengers book tickets online and pay the sum within 14 days, failing which a penalty is levied.
According to founders of the start-up service, city travel enthusiasts are frequently using the service for Tatkal bookings on premium trains. Both Central (CR) and Western (WR) railways contribute 20 per cent, respectively, to the total number of passengers using the service.
“Commuters, specifically, took a liking to the service as it allows them to book tickets quicker than the routine process. After registering on e-pay, a commuter then chooses to book the tickets via the e-pay wallet, as opposed to other modes. Feedback showed that a ticket is booked in just five seconds through ‘e-Paylater’,” said Akshat Saxena, co-founder of the service.
In the past one week, Mumbaikars have used the ‘e-Paylater’ service to book AC compartment tickets on premium trains, including Rajdhani, Shatabdi, he added.
“Generally, 60 per cent of these tickets are booked for Sleeper Class, as a segment of customers prefers to pay after their salaries have been encashed or for other reasons. However, for this long weekend, more than 50 per cent tickets were booked in the Tatkal category for AC compartments. A demographic study revealed that many solo travelers or those with a maximum company of one or two had used the service for availing tickets quicker,” said Saxena.
The service also sets individual credit limits for users by analysing their social media data, demographic details and checking the authenticity of their PAN and Aadhaar cards, he added.
“The credit limit varies between Rs 3,000 and 10,000, on an average, per passenger,” he said.
Pointing out that a majority of users have been able to repay the amount within the timeline, Saxena said that commuters who delay in payment of the credit cannot purchase another ticket till the outstanding sum is settled.
Founders claimed to have noticed an increasing trend in the number of commuters using the service.
“The IRCTC had introduced the additional service to aid passengers who could not pay for the service while booking the ticket. We are happy that the response has been positive,” said Pinakin Morawalla, public relations officer, IRCTC.