Amid the push by the government on digital payments, a study by online portal RailYatri has found that more than half of the train tickets in India are purchased in cash.
"And this is not because the train travellers necessarily prefer it that way, but the sale of reserved train tickets through authorised agents (contributing an estimated half of reserved ticket sales) continues to be in cash. The primary cause for this is the dis-incentive eco-system which rewards cash while penalising online transactions," Railyatri said in its report based on a countrywide survey of consumers and ticketing agents.
The study found that the rule of imposing a cap on Payment Gateway (PG) charges at 0.7% (for train tickets prices less than Rs 2,000) is completely out of tune with the average bank charges, which the agents have to pay. According to RailYatri, the typical PG charges vary between 1.5% to 2% depending on the provider, with most providers falling on the higher side. Agents, understandably, are unwilling to pay for the difference over 0.7% to the payment banks from their own pocket. Any instance of charging above 0.7%, even if the money is finally kept by the bank, exposes the agent to steep fines and penalties. Hence, they prefer for cash.
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