Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dynamic Platform Tickets – Should one Platform ticket be given free?


          One of the most loved words’ by Logistics companies is the word DYNAMIC PRICING.  Most of travellers in India be it bus mode or train mode or aeroplane mode are familiar with the Law of Dynamic Pricing.

          Read this IRCTC document  for Salient features of Premium Special Train on Dynamic Pricing and also this document for Salient features of Premium Tatkal(PT) Quota on Dynamic Pricing.

          Readers are familiar with the vagaries of dynamic pricing. In view of the fantastic response to these dynamic fare options, Railways has decided to bring in one more ticket service under the dynamic fare ambit.

          The ticket service is Platform Ticket cost. The railway platform ticket has been hiked from INR5 to INR10 and the new rate will be from 01/04/2015.

Railway Ministry have issued the necessary directions to all Zonal Railways to print the revised tickets on top priority and ensure supply to all stations well in time. However as it will take time for the new tickets reach the respective railway stations, the existing stock of tickets may be used with the rate corrected with a stamp.

Apart from the physical sale of platform tickets at ticket counters, platform tickets are also issued through SPTM & UTS or other machines, and such  software will be modified to collect the revised rate.

          And, here is where the dynamic concept kicks in. The Ministry of Railways has delegated the power to Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) to increase the rate of platform tickets beyond Rs.10/- to regulate rush at platforms during specific requirements like mela, rally etc.

          As a customer friendly initiative, Railways can explore the following options to maximise customer happiness.

a)    One free platform ticket with every IRCTC reservation slip.

b)     SMS based platform ticket booking. This was supposed to be introduced way back in 2006 but never took off.

c)    SMS alerts to the registered mobile numbers, in case the respective DRMs decide to increase the rate beyond INR10/- on any day.

d)    Introduction of Platform ticket booking on

e)    Displaying the current day’s platform ticket rates on the railways ministry website.

f)    Exclusive Mobile App to ascertain the current’s day’s platform ticket rate.

g)    Discount on booking platform ticket in advance.

h)    Random 50 free platform tickets to passengers’ relatives and friends booked via IRCTC.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Union Bank of India IRCTC RuPay Prepaid Card

          Union Bank of India in association with NPCI, partnering with IRCTC has unveiled “IRCTC UBI PREPAID CARD”.

          Union Bank of India has always been in forefront in introduction of new digital payments tools in our country.  Union Bank of India Product team has a knack for analysing customer needs and designing specific Safe Digital products for their customers.

          The latest addition to the Safe Digital products is Union Bank of India IRCTC RuPay Prepaid Card.

          The card was launched very recently and the volumes are expected to scale up as the rail passengers appreciate the benefits of Union Bank of India IRCTC RuPay Prepaid Card.

          This is the sample of the Union Bank of India IRCTC RuPay Prepaid Card

Advantage of Union Bank of India IRCTC RuPay Prepaid Card  to Railways:
01) Alternate to their own IRCTC eWallet.
02)                  Increase the success rate of IRCTC transactions.
03)                  Decrease the unhappiness amongst IRCTC users.
04)                  Showcase their versatile payment options to the world.
05)                   Help in faster conversion rate from physical transactions to digital transactions.

Benefits of Union Bank of India IRCTC RuPay Prepaid Card to Rail Passengers:
01) Reap the joys of Safe eTransactions.
02)                  Reduce the transaction time.
03)                  Minimise transaction costs.
04)                  The PP can also be used as Gift Cards.
05)                  Reduce stress levels.

Benefits of Union Bank of India IRCTC RuPay Prepaid Card to Union Bank of India:
01) Showcase the latest technology products to the world.
02)                  Increase the float funds, as no interest is paid on amount loaded in the prepaid cards.
03)                  Expand the bank’s customer base.
04)                  Increase the banks visibility across both physical and digital media.
05)                  A prominent partner in PM Modi’s Digital India drive.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

10 Benefits of Char Dham Biometric Registration Tool

01) At the biometric registration counter the picture of Yatris is captured and the information like Name, address, phone number, registration of vehicle number (If any) and place of pilgrimage are saved in the system which generates a bar code.

02)         Every pilgrim is given a card on which a bar code is pasted.

03)         No fees are charged by the company providing this service. The company uses the space available at the back of registration card for commercial advertisement.

04)         Real-time tracking of the pilgrims at various locations in the command area.

05)         Link concept possible to locate lost pilgrims.

06)         Reliable database in case of any untoward incidents.

07)         Possible to provide Group Accident insurance.

08)         Effective crowd control.

09)         Minimise crowding of pilgrims in any particular area.

10) Authenticate count of pilgrims visiting the pilgrimage towns.

          Hindus all over the world aim to complete atleast one Cha Dham darshan in their life time.

Char means ‘four’, Dham means ‘abode’. Hence Char Dham can be translated to “Four Abodes”.

The Chardham circuit includes visiting to four glorious shrines of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and lastly the Badrinath Dham. Traditionally, the yatra is done from the west to the east - starting from Yamunotri, then proceeding to Gangotri and finally to Kedarnath and Badrinath

All these 4 abodes, are located in the astonishing Himalayan foothills of Uttarakhand at distinct districts.

Adi Shankaracharya, the great reformer and philosopher is credited with taking the first steps towards the Char Dham Yatra in the 8th century.

Over the years, the popularity of the yatra has soared. As these places are situated in snow areas, the temples are opened only during a specified period, normally during summer.

This glorified expedition starts from Haridwar, the perfect gateway to God and can be reached to Uttarkashi for Gangotri and Yamunotri shrine and be completed at Chamoli by visiting the Badrinath Temple.

A very brief description of the four temples is below;

Gangotri Temple: - The holy river Ganga is known to be originated from Gangotri itself, through the prayer made by king Bhagirath.

Yamunotri Temple:-Located at Uttarkashi at an elevation of 3164 meters from the sea level, Yamunotri Dham temple sanctifies thousands of moods and spirits bringing the origin of River Yamuna.  It is the only place where the devotees can find both the amalgamation of hot and cold environment.

Kedarnath Temple:-Kedarnath Temple in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand state is elevated at an altitude of 3584 m above the sea level flanking around the river Mandakini. It is considered as the most pious abode of Lord Shiva and is believed that one of the 12 forms of Lord Shiva in the shape of “Jyotirlingas” was dropped at the hills of Mandar where the main temple is located. 

Badrinath Temple:-A perfect example of devotion for humanity and mankind, the Badrinath Temple is elevated at an altitude of 3415 meters in the Garhwal Hills on the bank of Alaknanada River.

In 2013 Uttarakhand was devastated by the flash floods which resulted in huge  catastrophe both in terms of human life and infrastructure loss.

During the last two years, Uttarkhand Government has taken numerous steps to enhance the safety levels of both the pilgrims and the associated pilgrim infrastructure.

One of the most important safety tools is the Biometric registration of the Pilgrims.

Biometric registration counters are already in place at entry points to the state and on yatra routes.  Additionally five base camps, 48 wayside amenities, seven ghats and 12 night shelters for the 2015 Chardham yatra have been set up.


Since 2014, Uttarakhand state authorities have plans to limit the number of visitors at any given point of time. Hence, government has made arrangements for mandatory biometric registration of the all the visitors. This will enable tracking of visitors with a GPS-based monitoring system so that tourist flow can be checked for a particular Dham/Temple.

Q: Who will man the Biometric registration booths?

Ans: The booths will be manned by staff of  Trilok Security System India Private Limited (TSSIPL).


 The State Government decided to have the biometric registration of the Yatris after the disaster of last year when the hundreds of pilgrims were reported missing in absence of any registration mechanism.

Monday, March 16, 2015

NACH Debit – India’s ePayment Highway for Digital Transactions

          It is said that numbers do not lie and the numbers say everything. The below are the number of Banks on NPCIs’ NACH Debit platform.

ACH Debit Banks
Grand Total

 The first ACH debit transaction was executed in July 2013 with 88 transactions. Within a span of 20 months the volumes rose to Seven lacs +.

There has been tremendous growth in the last six months. Month on month, there is an increase of 1,00,000 transactions.
ACH Debit Volumes

 There have intense discussions amongst NPCI, Banks and Billers on the ways and means to increase safe ACH Debit transasctions.

Billers are building products designed to take the best of NACH Debit.

The mutual fund industry is quickly adapting to the NACH Debit platform to encourage investors to move funds from their bank accounts to the mutual funds in a safe manner.

In the next couple of  months, a large number of billers are expected to sign up on the NACH Debit Platform.

The primary infrastructure has been stabilised and the system has enough capacity to handle more than 10,00,000/- transactions per day.

Billers are also gearing to flash a number of alerts to ensure a high success rate.

NPCI has removed 4 irrelevant return codes from the NACH Debit platform. The four codes are

a)     No such account

b)    Account description does not tally

c)     Mandate not received/UMRN does not exist

d)    Invalid Account(NRE/PPF/CC)


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Student Scholarship Bank Accounts should be eligible for PMJDY Overdraft


Over 10 crores of PMJDY accounts have been opened in bank branches all over India.

PMJDY Bank accounts have been opened in public sector bank branches as well as private sector bank branches.

The immediate priority of the stake holders is to reduce the % of Zero Balance accounts in the PMJDY bandwagon.

Routing Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) including LPG subsidy is the preferred method to stimulate transactions in the PMJDY accounts.

Insurance coverage – both accidents and life, is another tool to keep the transactions flowing.

Another attractive feature is the INR5000/- clean overdraft facility.

The overdraft comes with lots of strings attached. The first set of PMJDY accounts will be eligible for OD facility after a couple of months.

As there is no precedent for mass clean overdrafts in the banking industry, the initial conditions are stringent.

India has a rich tradition of student scholarships. A large number of scholarship schemes are available for students in India. Both Central and State agencies offer scholarships. Private trusts too offer scholarships.

Majority of the scholarships are disbursed to the respective bank accounts. It is almost mandatory for students to have bank accounts. website offers good details of the various types of scholarships available in India. displays the type of scholarships accessible to minority students in the nation.

10 reasons as to why the PMJDY Overdraft facility has to be offered to students too:-

a)     All scholarship amounts will be credited to such accounts.

b)    Calculation of the eligible overdraft amount is easy, as there will be scholarship credits.

c)     Increase the catchment populace of PMJDY OD accounts.

d)    Inculcate financial discipline amongst students.

e)    Credit report can be easily built at the time of processing education loans in future.

f)     Students can adopt batch of OD accounts in their locality and guide them for efficient utilisation of OD limits.

g)    Increase the visibility of PMJDY scheme amongst the public.

h)    Increase loyalty to the ruling party, which can be redeemed at the time of elections.

i)      Tool to reduce the number of Zero Balance Accounts.

j)     No additional investment in terms of infrastructure required. Only correct mapping required.






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