New Delhi: To encourage cashless transaction, Railways will install card swipe machines at parcel booking offices and all ticket reservation counters in all major stations.
Besides POS (Point of Sale) machines will also be installed at suburban railway stations to help people purchase seasonal and monthly tickets by using debit or credit cards.
There are about 13,000 counters for ticket reservation and 14,000 counters for unreserved tickets across the country. We have written to banks for installing POS machines at reservation counters in the first phase and then at unreserved counters, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
He said there is a need for installing card swipe machines at parcel booking offices also as considerable amount of transaction takes place on regular basis.
Railways through its suburban railway network will provide incentive by way of discount up to 0.5 per cent to customers for monthly or seasonal tickets from January 2017, if payment is made through digital means.
Nearly 80 lakh passengers are seasonal or monthly ticket holders on suburban railways and they largely use cash to purchase tickets.
As more and more passengers will shift to digital means the cash requirement may get reduced by Rs 1,000 crore a year in near future.
To give incentives for online ticket booking, railways will offer free insurance cover up to Rs 10 lakh.
Around 14 lakh passengers book railway tickets everyday out of which 58 per cent tickets are brought online. It is expected that 20 per cent more passengers may shift to digital payment methods for buying tickets.