Indian Railways to launch co-branded debit card with State Bank of India

To incentivise passengers to use the online ticket booking system and adopt cashless methods, Indian Railways is set to launch its own co-branded debit card and also hold monthly lottery draw to give 100% cash-back to 10 lucky passengers.

The debit card will be launched in association with the country’s biggest lender State Bank of India and the transporter’s arm Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

The move comes at a time when IRCTC is losing Rs 600 crore per year as post the demonetisation of specified currencies in November 2016, the railways waived charges for online booking of tickets.

While initially the directive was to not levy the charge till June 2017, the timeline has been revised twice since and customers will not be charged the levy till March 2018. Earlier, IRCTC used to charge Rs 20 on each sleeper class and Rs 40 on each air-conditioned class e-tickets, a part of which went to banks as transaction charges.