Sify to provide railway E-Tickets for cash

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 21 September 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: Sify Limited has tied up with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to make their online railway ticketing services available at over 3400 iWays cyber cafes across 154 cities in the country with cash payments.

Initially starting off is a pilot project at 10 iWays in Delhi. This venture is expected to revolutionize railway ticketing, with providing greater convenience to neighborhood access for the common man. Online railway ticket bookings on the IRCTC site has been available to customers who either have a credit card or a net banking facility, limiting the number of people who could actually use this convenient facility. The vast majority of Indians however, still prefer to make cash payments for tickets, goods or services. So it was imperative that a means be found for the large number of Indians without a credit card or a net banking facility to be able to make online rail ticket reservations and pay cash.

Commenting on the tie up, P K Goel, Managing Director, IRCTC, said, "This path-breaking initiative is aimed at making railway e-ticketing easier and convenient for our customers across the country. For they no longer have to worry about using credit cards or having a net banking facility which is restricted to those with access to computers at home or in the office. Instead, they can simply make the online bookings and make convenient cash payment at Sify's iWays. The reach and network of Sify's iWays is sure to make a difference by enabling access to this online service to the masses."

Speaking on the occasion of this landmark tie-up, Raju Vegesna, MD & CEO, Sify Limited, said, "This is a tie-up that will make the online rail ticketing facility of the IRCTC accessible and available to the common man through our wide reach of over 3400 iWays cyber cafes across 154 cities. I believe that this will become a landmark event in the growth of online ticketing in the country by not only making it widely available to everyone, but by overcoming the barrier of online payment with convenient cash payments. It is innovative solutions like this that will grow e-commerce in India, and I am extremely pleased that we have been able to work with the IRCTC to make this possible. This is only the first of many new initiatives planned to transform our iWays cyber cafes from being points for Internet access, to what we like to call 'eStores', with all manner of electronic distribution and fulfillment of services."

So one no longer needs to travel to a railway booking counter, stand in queues or look for a travel agent any longer. All it requires is a visit to the neighborhood Sify iWays, where the cafe administrator can book the railway ticket online. He or she sits inside the cool ambience of the Sify iWays, and finalizes the itinerary based on availability. The customer pays cash against the ticket and collects the ticket printout. In case of ticket cancellations, the customer will follow the standard cancellation process of the IRCTC, after which the customer gets cash against the cancellation.

Sify is capable to providing this service as it is into consumer Internet and enterprise services in India, having the largest Internet, network and e-Commerce services companies offering end-to-end solutions. On the other hand, IRCTC is a public sector company owned by the Ministry of Railways, handling the facility for Internet ticketing launched for public, August 2002.

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