The telecom operator says that the customers will have to download the "139 Railways Reservation" mobile application once and after that the app does not require any data connection for registration or booking of tickets. Vodafone Customers will need to send an SMS writing "TICKET" to 111 to download the application.
Vodafone M-Pesa customers will be able to send in their booking details through the "139 Railways Reservation" app and only have to enter their M-PIN to authorise the transaction. The operator says that the SMS based booking on 139 is available for all feature phones, while the application will work with Android and J2ME handsets. Other details of the process are not clear at this point.
In case of cancellations, the refund will be credited to the customer's Vodafone M-Pesa wallet. Refund information, PNR status, seat availability and more can also be accessed through the mobile application.
Speaking on this initiative, Suresh Sethi, Business Head, M-Pesa, Vodafone India said, "This new app based offering empowers our customers to book railway e-tickets, seek PNR status, cancel tickets, get refunds, all at their own convenience, through their mobile handset. We are extending a highly safe and secure technology platform that works even for customers who do not have an Internet connection."
IRCTC's Director, Tourism & Marketing, A. K. Brar, said, "We are delighted that Vodafone M-Pesa has partnered BBPO to facilitate railway e-ticket bookings on the go. We are confident that this association will play a transformational role in both, providing a never before holistic service proposition even for the unbanked sections of society and simultaneously be a lifestyle enhancer since it does away with waiting in queues at railway stations to book tickets."