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Now, book rail tickets with Vodafone's M-pesa

Vodafone customers can download the application by sending an SMS "TICKET" to 111. Once accessed, the app prompts users with interactive and guided menu options towards booking tickets.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Sep 29, 2014, 03.51 PM IST
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NEW DELHI: Vodafone India on Monday entered into a strategic partnership with Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation’s (IRCTC) Bharat BPO to allow online booking of railway tickets through mobile phones with Vodafone M-Pesa as a payment option.

M-Pesa, launched in April 2013 in India, is a unique mobile money transfer and payment service being offered by Vodafone that facilitates person-to-person (P2P) and customer-to-business (C2B) transactions.

The service will allow customers to download mobile application “139 Railways Reservation” once, post which it does not require any data connection for registration or booking of tickets, the telco in a statement said. India’s No 2 telecom service operator serves more than 170 million customers across the country.

Vodafone customers can download the application by sending an SMS "TICKET" to 111. Once accessed, the app prompts users with interactive and guided menu options towards booking tickets.

The service, the telco said, is highly secure and available only through the mobile number which is registered with IRCTC during the registration process.

In addition, subscribers can access information on partial and full cancellation. Information on PNR status can also be accessed through the mobile app. In case of cancellations, relevant refund will be credited to the customer’s Vodafone M-Pesa wallet.

“This (partnership) would open up and extend the convenience and efficiency of e-Commerce and online services to those unbanked millions who are operating with cash and are otherwise excluded from this eco-system,” Suresh Sethi, Business Head – M-Pesa at Vodafone India said in a statement.

Sethi said that they are extending a highly safe and secure technology platform that works even for customers who do not have an Internet connection.

Bharat BPO Services CEO Jatinder Verma said that innovative offering will make rail e-ticket booking easy for customers as they can book tickets from anywhere.

“This is the real edge of mobility that will touch new dimensions in mobile usage. The relationship with Vodafone M-Pesa and their tremendous reach towards the masses will definitely make this initiative a success.” Verma added.

In June 2013, Sunil Mittal-headed Bharti Airtel had also entered into a similar arrangement with IRCTC to offer e-reservations through its mobile wallet service Airtel Money.

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