Vodafone India has signed an strategic partnership with Bharat BPO, a Spice Digital* group company to integrate its mobile money service Vodafone M-Pesa as one of the payment options for Bharat BPO’s SMS railway ticket booking service.
Following this partnership, Vodafone M-Pesa customers can send in their booking details either via SMS or through the 139 Railways Reservation app on Android or Java and enter their ‘M-PIN’ to authorize the transaction. In case of cancellations, the refund will be credited back to the customer’s Vodafone M-Pesa wallet. Vodafone notes that this service is available only for mobile numbers that is registered with IRCTC.
We tried the Android app and noticed that one can fill in their travel and passenger details, which is then sent to 139 as a text message. Following this, users will receive a text message with the transaction ID and ticket details. One can then pay by filling in their M-Pesa account pin and IRCTC UserID which is also sent to 139 in form of a text message.
Besides ticket booking, the app allows users to get information like seat availability, PNR status and train arrival & departure among others. The service was introduced by Bharat BPO in August last year in association with ICICI Bank.
Booking meals through 139: Earlier this week, Railways Ministry had also launched a SMS and phone-based meal booking service on a trial basis. This service is currently being piloted on six trains in the Delhi-Amritsar route. During this trial, passengers will be served food at the five designated stations namely New Delhi, Delhi, Nizamuddin, Amritsar and Ludhiana.
*Disclosure: Spice Digital is an advertiser with Medianama