India-based PhonePe, a major digital payments platform, has teamed up with the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) in order to offer a frictionless, contactless, safe, and secure payment option to commuters in Mumbai, which is a major financial center and one of the country’s largest cities.
Commuters who regularly use BEST services will now have the option to pay for tickets through the UPI based, interoperable QR code enabled, payments system. This should encourage people to make contactless payments and avoid using cash, which may not be safe to handle due to COVID or other viruses.
Over 10,000 local centers will help process payments. Commuters will be able to scan their EQ codes using their UPI enabled payment app. They will have to enter the amount they need to pay for the ticket and their UPI PIN, so that the payment be made directly from their bank accounts.
Vivek Lohcheb, Vice President – Offline Business Development, PhonePe, stated:
“We are excited to have partnered with BEST to enable contactless fare payments for commuters using public transport across Mumbai. Interoperable QR codes have been deployed in over 3000 buses across 27 depots covering key routes in the city.”
Lohcheb added that the solution allows PhonePe’s partners to take payments from the Fintech firm or any UPI app. He noted that this ensures both commuters and partners don’t have to deal with cash, which can be unsafe. He believes this solution will “prove particularly useful in these extraordinary times.” PhonePe’s management thinks that these types of payment platforms will be “a key driver of safety and convenience while acting as another step forward towards achieving the Prime Minister’s vision of a digital and cashless India.”
Manoj Varade from BEST remarked:
“We have introduced digital ticket purchases considering the safety of our passengers during this pandemic situation with a cashless mode of ticketing. It is a convenient way to both commuters and conductors. We strongly believe that it will encourage Mumbaikars to take public transport and help to decongest our city.”
As reported recently, the Reserve Bank of India is planning to use InfoSys co-founder Nandan Nilekani’s formula to measure the effectiveness of digital payments.
Indian Fintech RapiPay will be installing 500,000 Micro ATMs in the country as it’s not ready to completely give up cash and switch to digital payments, because it lacks the infrastructure needed to make the transition.
Google Pay and India’s digital payments app PhonePe were the most frequently downloaded Fintech apps in February 2020.