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IRCTC, Intrex in tie-up for rly booking via pre-paid cards

Our Regional Bureau  |  Chennai 

(IRCTC), the marketing arm of Indian Railways, has tied up with Intrex India Ltd (ILL), to enable railway reservations online using pre-paid cards as a payment mechanism.
Customers can use ILL's multi-purpose 'Itz Cash' prepaid cards of amounts ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 10,000 in 15,000 establishments across the country. The cards can be utilised for 100 per cent of the face value.
ILL, a member of the Essel group, is engaged in financial services. Itz Cash cards are available in mobile prepaid card outlets and cyber cafes.
"There are more than 40 crore individuals who constitute the bottom of the pyramid in India. The tie-up will help us to expand our customer base by offering an alternative payment mechanism to them as have no access to credit or debit cards," said V Sriram, group general manager-south zone,
He mentioned that travel based ticketing constitutes 65 per cent of the Rs 225 crore e-commerce market, which is slated to grow to a Rs 4,000 crore market in the next two to three years.
There will be a charge of Rs 40 for lower class tickets and Rs 60 for higher-class tickets and Rs 15 service charge for tickets booked on the Itz Cash card.
"The charges are mostly for delivery and logistics cost as the tickets are dispatched from Delhi. At present only 5,000 tickets get booked online as against 50 lakh which gets booked via the passenger reservation system; when the number rises, the costs will dip," added Sriram.
There are 1.5 million registered users on IRCTC's website, with 50,000 unique daily visitors and a turnover of Rs 60 lakh daily. "Going forward, we plan on introducing e-ticketing where the consumer can book and print the ticket at his residence and use it for travel," remarked Sriram.
ILL also has cashless trade exchange called Intrex Trade Exchange which has about 700 members with a turnover that is expected to touch Rs 150 crore this financial year. The members on the exchange include Electrolux, TTK Prestige, ION Exchange, Living Media and Reebok.
Itz Cash was launched in 2003 and enables consumers to shop online on general portals such as Rediff, Indiatimes and AsianSkyShop.

First Published: Thu, February 03 2005. 00:00 IST