Mumbai: BEST ties up with payment gateway to facilitate contactless ticketing

Updated: 16 September, 2020 08:10 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Undertaking assigns unique QR code to more than 10,000 conductors for the service; transaction mode available on both Android, IoS

The experiment of digital payment of fares had been started at two bus depots, Colaba and Wadala, initially. Pic/Bipin Kokate
The experiment of digital payment of fares had been started at two bus depots, Colaba and Wadala, initially. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Call it BEST's big cashless transaction push amid the lockdown, or simply yet another move to solve the problem of loose change! A prominent payment gateway, PhonePe, has now partnered with the BEST to provide contactless ticketing, with over 10,000 conductors assigned a unique QR code for this.

Officials said commuters who use these services everyday will now be able to pay the fare through UPI based QR codes on some major routes without worrying about carrying cash or exact change for their fare.

'For passenger safety'

"Inter-operable QR codes have been used for over 3,000 buses across 27 depots covering key routes in the city. This will prove particularly useful in these extraordinary times," Vivek Lohcheb, vice president, offline business development, PhonePe said.

Read: BEST driver who ferried essential workers fought COVID-19 for 65 days

BEST spokesperson Manoj Varade said, "We have introduced the digital ticket purchases considering the safety of our passengers during this pandemic, with a cashless mode of ticketing. It is a convenient way for both commuters and conductors."

mid-day has been highlighting how the BEST has been fighting with the loose change problem and making all out efforts to encourage cashless ticketing. In its July 2 edition, mid-day had written how the BEST was finally moving in the direction of UPI cashless transactions, with bus conductors being given QR code scanner badges.

The experiment had been started at two bus depots, Colaba and Wadala, initially with due training to the staff. Now the cashless transactions can be carried out with the help of PhonePe over all the BEST routes.

This transaction mode is completely separate from its app and can be carried out independently with it being available for both Android and IoS users. The transactions will be recorded on a centralised computer at the bus depots, which are tallied separately.

How it works

All a commuter has to do, is to ask for the fare amount to their destination from the conductors, scan the QR code using any UPI enabled payment app, enter the amount and UPI PIN to make the payment directly from their bank accounts.

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First Published: 16 September, 2020 05:58 IST

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