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Mobile commerce player Paytm and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) have tied up to let IRCTC passengers use Paytm to pay for e-catering services, in addition to the currently existing online payment and cash on delivery modes. As of now, IRCTC’s e-catering facility is available in over 1,500 trains without pantry cars.
Paytm to book tickets on IRCTC: This is Paytm’s second tie up with IRCTC, after it initially partnered to let IRCTC users pay for tickets booked online through Paytm in May this year. Interestingly, at that time, Paytm had 60 million wallet users, but crossed 100 million in August. Paytm claims that the service is used by over 80,000 merchants across the country and conducts over 75 million transactions monthly.
Highest number of tickets booked on IRCTC: In April this year, IRCTC users booked 13.45 lakh e-tickets on a single day, its highest so far, and up from 5.80 lakh e-tickets in March 2014, which was the previous record, and 5.72 lakh in September 2013. In May, IRCTC claimed to process over 180 million transactions every year.
Catering revenues: Last month, we reported that IRCTC posted an income of Rs 1,141 crore ($171 million), including the sales of ticket service charge, Rail Neer bottled water, in house catering services and license fees from outsourced catering vendors.
Currently, Paytm lists Uber, Bookmyshow, Domino’s Pizza, Jabong, FabFurnish, Zovi, eBay, Foodpanda, Tastykhana, JustEat (both of which redirect to Foodpanda), Haldiram’s, Fernsnpetal, Infibeam, Archies, Travelyaari and IndiaTimes Shopping as its top merchants, but obviously the data appears old.
IRCTC’s food tie ups:
Last month, Hyderabad-based Hello Curry tied up with the IRCTC to provide meal options for railway passengers during their journeys, starting with the Secunderabad station. Hello Curry’s menu would be available for passengers in Delhi, Bangalore, Vizag and Pune soon, for which orders could be placed through the IRCTC’s catering website.
Earlier this year, IRCTC tied up with Pizza Hut and KFC and Jubilant Foodworks, which owns Domino’s Pizza, to deliver pre ordered meals and Domino’s Pizza to passenger seats. This overhaul was a part of a bigger program the railways proposed in the rail budget in February this year, and included unreserved tickets on smartphones, SMS alert service, multi-lingual e-ticketing portal, on-board entertainment and Wi-Fi to Category B stations. More on that here.