Mumbai: Online payment a way out of BEST's chillar problem

Updated: Jul 02, 2020, 07:48 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Long due, but now done at two bus depots on an experimental basis, the process will pave the way for cashless transactions and avoid the exchange of physical money in these days of COVID-19

BEST is known to have bags of loose change that it struggles to dispose of
BEST is known to have bags of loose change that it struggles to dispose of

With piles of coins and loose change getting collected all the time, the BEST has finally moved in the direction of UPI cashless transactions with bus conductors now being given badges with QR code scanners that can be used by commuters to make cashless payments.

Long due, but now done at two bus depots on an experimental basis, the process will pave the way for cashless transactions and avoid the exchange of physical money in these days of COVID-19.

A senior BEST official said that travelling commuters will have to tell the conductor of their destination, he will check the fare and then tell the amount that needs to be paid. The commuter can scan the badge with any online payment option. Once the badge is scanned, the app will show the bus depot and the badge number of the conductor with the amount to be paid.

While the process began at Colaba depot in south Mumbai on June 16, it was also started at Wadala depot on June 26. It eventually will be brought to all depots. This transaction mode is completely separate from the BEST app and can be carried out independently.

The mode is available for both Android and IoS users and the transactions will be recorded on a centralised computer at the bus depots, which will be tallied separately.

BEST has been facing issues with loose change for quite some time. Coins worth crores are collected by the undertaking every single day and these end up lying at the strong rooms of 27 bus depots in Mumbai city and suburbs as banks, too, have been slow in procuring such a huge volume. As a way out, the BEST then decided to give part of the salaries in coins. However, if this QR code method is promoted well and clicks, it will help the BEST significantly.

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