Indian Railways is going to add yet another dimension to its ticketing process. With the help of Ministry of Electronics and IT, it is gearing up to introduce QR Code-based cashless payments through mobile phones for purchase of tickets. This move will give much-needed boost to ‘Digital India’ initiative, writes Priyadarshi Siddhanta

NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 21, 2017: To give further impetus to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ programme, Ministry of Electronics and IT and Ministry of Railways are working on a project that will allow cashless purchase of railway tickets by using a QR (Quick Response) Code. A mobile having access to any payment bank or mobile wallet will allow purchase of railway tickets by just scanning of QR code.

A QR Code is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) first designed for the automotive industry in Japan. A barcode is a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached.

“Imagine a person going to buy a train ticket at a ticket counter. He will just have to scan QR barcode from his mobile and will then be able to make payment through any mobile wallet or digital payment application like BHIM App, PayTM, Freecharge etc. Railways Ministry plan to have this system in place at all railway stations by 2019 so that it can be showcased as a big success story of Digital India initiative before the next Lok Sabha polls. The project will begin with tier I cities and then expanded to tier II and III cities and towns,” said a senior government official.

Government sources said Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has already a meeting with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in this connection. A review meeting on the proposed project has already been held. Both Ministers have acknowledged that the manner in which digital payments are increasing in India, introducing cashless ticket sale through QR code scanning mechanism would help in making ticketing more efficient in the railways.

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