IRCTC Waives Off Ticket Booking Fees Till Dec 31st; SBI Claims Digital Payments Increased By 100%
After effects of currency ban is slowly coming into force. While SBI has claimed 100% increase in digital payments, India’s largest ecommerce portal, IRCTC.co.in will not charge any online booking fee till December 31.
Online Booking Fee Waived off By IRCTC
In one of the populist decisions, Indian Railways has decided to waive off online booking charges on all tickets booked online till December 31, 2016. This has been done to help passengers cope with currency ban, and to encourage cashless transactions among all.
Right now, Rs 20 is charges for e-ticket under sleeper class, Rs 80 for I-ticket; while for AC class tickets, Rs 40 is charged for e-tickets and Rs 120 for I-tickets.
This announcement has been put into force effective November 23rd to December 31, 2016.
In future, all forms of additional charges for online ticketing can be waived off. A senior Railways official shared, “We have suggested IRCTC either do away or substantially reduce the service charge as the Prime Minister wants that online transactions should not be expensive than over-the-counter payments “
Interestingly, this move will incur heavy losses for IRCTC, as it earns 33% of its revenues via service charges for online bookings. Last year, out of Rs 1500 crore revenue, Rs 540 crore was earned via online ticketing service charges.
Now, 55% of all rail tickets booked in a day happens on IRCTC website. With 12 lakh tickets booked, this means that the decision to waive off online service charges will impact around 6.5 lakh tickets, translating into loss of hundreds of crores of revenue.
SBI Claims Digital Payments Increased By 100%; 40% Of All ATMs Can Now Dispense New Currency
After currency ban was announced, there has been an increase in digital transactions within State Bank of India (SBI). As SBI Managing Director Rajnish Kumar, they have witnessed massive 100% rise in digital mode of payments since November 8th.
This holds much significance, as one-fourth of all banking transactions in India are processed by SBI alone. With 100% increase in digital mode of transactions inside SBI, we can very well assume the increase in cashless transactions happening all over the country.
Besides, SBI claimed that they have re-calibrated 28,000 ATMs to dispense new currency notes; which is 57% of SBI’s overall 49,000 ATMs pan-India.
Few observations made by Rajnish Kumar:
- Recalibration process of all 49,000 SBI ATMs would be over by November end.
- Queues outside ATMs have reduced, but people are not spending their money and they are hoarding it
- Before demonetization drive, SBI used to manage 75-90 lakh transactions a day. Whereas on Monday (November 21), SBI recorded 89.8 lakh transactions, which is slightly higher than normal
- Recalibration process of ATMs in rural and village areas are taking more time due paucity of resources
- Total amount withdrawn from SBI ATMS stood at Rs 1677 crore on Monday (November 21)
- On Tuesday (November 22), 48.6 lakh ATM transactions were reported by mid-day, amounting to Rs 924 crore
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Govt. informed the nation that 40% of all ATMs in the country has been recalibrated for dispensing new currency notes. This means that out of 2.2 lakh ATMs in India, 82,500 can now dispense new Rs 2000 and Rs 500 currency notes.
This was shared by Rituraj Sinha, President of Cash Logistics Association of India. He said, “It is our endeavour to move towards normal ATM functioning by the end of this month..”
Another interesting fact: Earlier, ATMs could only hold Rs 5 lakh of Rs 2000 currency notes, but now, with higher denomination currency available, the ATMs can now hold Rs 55-60 lakh of currency notes, thereby satisfying large number of people in the same time.