The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) will be now payment method at all railway stations ticket counters, reports Zee News. Earlier, passengers could book railway tickets using UPI online only through the IRCTC website.

The publication added that passengers will have to scan a QR code at the ticket counters while booking and that the Railways is in the process of implementing the BharatQR as a payment option as well. Note that in August, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said that QR codes generated by the UPI will be merged with the ones generated by BharatQR. NPCI instructed member banks to ensure that their applications be equipped to read both UPI QR as well as BharatQR by 15th September 2017.

The number of tickets booked offline through ticket counters has been decreasing over the years. In 2011-12, the share of tickets booked at counters stood at 61.46%, while the share of tickets booked on IRCTC stood at 38.54%. Fast forward to 2014-15, the share of tickets booked at counters fell to 45.48% compared to 54.52% on IRCTC. Meanwhile, the share of tickets booked through IRCTC has increased 70% after October 2016 aided by the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, as indicated by this Mint report.

Increase in UPI transactions

Over the last three months, there seems to be a hockey stick growth in the number of UPI transactions. In November 2017, the number of transactions stood at 105.1 million and the amount of these transactions stood at Rs 9679.2 crore. In September the number of transactions on UPI stood at 30.8 million with the amount of these transactions Rs 5293 crore.

The number of transactions has been increasing with more technology players coming in. In September, Google Tez has reported over 7.5 million users and 30 million transactions in five weeks. Meanwhile, the UPI was also introduced by Paytm on its app in November. WhatsApp is expected to launch P2P money transfers via the payment infrastructure as well.