The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will now offer Paytm wallet as an option to pay for train tickets online, reports TechCircle. Through this partnership, Paytm will be able to expand its reach to Tier II and Tier III markets where trains form the primary mode of long distance travel and IRCTC the default train booking platform.
IRCTC will continue offering other modes of payment along with the Paytm wallet but it might just be a convenient option for ticket bookers who know the infamous unreliability of the IRCTC platform. Also, IRCTC claims to process over 180 million transactions every year. Paytm, on the other hand, claims to have over 60 million wallet users.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm claimed that Paytm was the biggest consumer transacting platform, followed by the IRCTC. Paytm also claimed to have surpassed the volume of IRCTC transactions in November last year.
Paytm launched a semi closed wallet in January last year, almost 6 months after receiving a semi-closed prepaid wallet license, and five months after Mobikwik launched theirs. The closed wallet could only be used to purchase services provided on Paytm, and not to purchase third party goods and services.
In February this year, Paytm received a huge infusion ($575 million) of funds from Alibaba Group’s affiliate company Ant Financial Services, which picked up a 30% stake in the company. Paytm was to use the funds to grow its mobile payment ecosystem, and on commerce user base acquisition. Late last year, online cab service Uber partnered with Paytm to enable users make use of Paytm’s prepaid wallet to pay for their tax rides.
IRCTC, in a debilitating move last week, introduced new rules which would slow down ticket booking for regular customers and agents. In March, it also implemented a new rule, that would allow only one ticket per user in one login session. The restrictions will be in place between the peak hours of 8am to 12pm, during which time users will be logged out automatically after making a single e-ticket booking.
It did, however, bring some joy to its users by introducing an EMI for train tickets last year and making available Pizza Hut and KFC meals along with Dominos Pizza to its travelers to their berths earlier this year.
Image Credit: Flickr user Mroach