The Ola-IRCTC Partnership
The railway Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) announced on Monday they were tying up with Ola, the cab aggregator, in a bid to provide railway travelers the opportunity of booking a taxi before and after their train travel. This initiative comes as the IRCTC wishes to provide connectivity from the moment their train commuters leave their house up until their final destination.
The collaboration will be a six months trial destined to give customers access to Ola booking services whenever they use the IRCTC Rail Connect App or the website, according to a statement from IRCTC.
To book an Ola cab through the IRCTC app or website, railway users have to log on the app or website using authorizations. After going on the services section, commuters should select ‘Book a Cab’ option. After choosing a preferred cab option, the booking will be confirmed. Cab booking can be done up to seven days prior to the ride or upon reaching the railway station. In case your phone’s battery is down, IRCTC outlets at railway stations and Ola’s self-serving kiosk will help commuters book a cab as well.
Services offered by Ola cab such as Ola Micro, Ola Mini, Ola Auto, Ola Share, etc…. will also be available on the IRCTC Rail Connect app and website at the same price but discounts will not be provided according to reports.
This partnership aims at enabling the IRCTC to provide first-and-last mile connectivity to railway travelers. A spokesperson from the company stated, “The ease of travel of our commuters is of prime importance to us and we believe that this association will help in delivering unparalleled convenience to the users on our platform, fostering and strengthening the culture of Digital India.”
Additional IRCTC collaborations
This is not the first time IRCTC is tying up with emerging startups. Indeed, the Indian Railway began collaborations with several startups and associations to improve their service; especially through their website and app.
Partnership with National Skill Development Corporation
A few days ago, the IRCTC tied up with National Skill Development Corporation in a bid to train the children of three lakh trackmen in several vocational courses. This scheme has already been approved by the Prime Minister’s office.
Razorpay‘s tie-up with IRCTC
Moreover, at the end of February 2018, reports of a partnership between the IRCTC and payment company Razorpay emerged. This tie-up comes as an effort of the IRCTC to assist customers booking train or flight tickets through UPI platform, while also catering for other payment methods such as net banking, e-wallets and credit/debit cards.
According to the Economic Times, Razorpay must now expect to process over a million transactions every month on the IRCTC website and mobile app. Razorpay is not the first payment platform to receive a partnership with the IRCTC. Back in October 2017, MobiKwik’s payment gateway, Zaakpay, began a partnership with IRCTC’s Rail connect app. The deal allowed users to pay through their debit/credit card or net banking, ATM cards and mobile wallets. But the option of using UPI was not included even though Zaakpay does provide this service through a different partnership with ICICI Bank.
PayU on IRCTC’s website
PayU also joined its payment services with IRCTC since September 2017. The payment option is available under MPS (Multiple Payment Services) of the railway operators website at the payment stage of booking an e-ticket.