Railways to introduce ‘buy Bus Tickets from IRCTC, pay later’ service option with ePaylater

Enjoy ‘buy tickets now and pay later’ option on all trains. A service charge of 3.5 per cent will be levied on such tickets and the customer will have to pay the ticket amount within 14 days of the purchase of the ticket.

NEW DELHI: In a first, railway passengers can now purchase tickets without having to pay immediately. Railways has introduced the ‘buy tickets now and pay later’ facility to provide the customers with a better experience, an IRCTC official said.

This facility of buying tickets without immediately payment is available only for purchase of e-tickets from the IRCTC website. To enjoy this service, the ticket will have to be booked at least five days ahead of the journey. Passengers can opt for this facility in all trains and across different classes, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd official told .

A service charge of 3.5 per cent will be levied on such tickets and the customer will have to pay the ticket amount within 14 days of the purchase of the ticket. To avail this service, it is mandatory for passengers to provide their name, email ID, mobile number, PAN card or Aadhaar details.

IRCTC spokesperson Sandip Dutta said, “The purpose of this service is not to earn money, but to provide better facility to passengers. It is kind of a short-term loan that we will give to the passengers.” Dutta added that IRCTC has collaborated with a Mumbai-based firm ePayLater for providing the new service option.

Explaining how IRCTC would ensure that customers pay the ticket amount within 14 days, Dutta said, “The way a credit card is issued after evaluating the CIBIL score of a customer, same procedure will be followed. ePayLater will first check the transaction history of the passenger on the basis of personal details provided by the customer. Ticket will be assigned under the new service only after we are satisfied with the person’s previous transaction history.” The selection of the user is done using data science and analytics. Only those customers who have a good past transaction and payment history will be given the option to pay later. This is similar to taking a short period credit or using a credit card where you repay within a period of time. ePayLater expects to capture at least 5 % of the 6 lakhs transactions per day on IRCTC in next six months.

The officicial added that once the customer gets approval to use the feature, they will be sent an OTP (one time password) to enable them to use the service.

Funding

ePayLater was started in 2015  and has tied up with merchants such as PVR, Crownit, VaerOrganic, IndustryBuying, Power2SME, Tolexo, Bizong and Bizzgain. In June last year, the company raised $2mn in seed round funding from high net individuals.

Competition

Another company Simpl also gives users the buy now and pay later option. Simpl, however, has two billing cycles 1st and 16th of each month. The company has more than 30 merchant partners including NYKAA, JustRide, Faasos , BookMyShow, FreshMenu, Holachef , Voonik etc. Both the companies charge merchant partners a fee for each transaction to make revenues. However, in the case of late payments, Simpl claims it charges a penalty of up to Rs 250 while ePayLater charges a flat Rs 20 or a penalty rate of 36% per annum for the number of days the amount is overdue.

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