August 2011

ICT initiative in PSUs

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Any time Bill Payment Kiosks
Implementing Agency: Forbes Technosys
www.forbestechnosys.com

With the proliferation of ATMs, consumers can withdraw money at any time,  but when it comes to bill payments to public utilities, consumers invariably  have to stand in long queues to make payments and get receipts. The Any Time Payment Machine receives payments by cheque and cash and provides a  receipt to consumers while updating his billing account with the utility. The  consumer can make the payment at the time he chooses to do so, thereby  making it a simple and comfortable experience. There is no charge levied for  the service on the consumer while the utility pays a small transaction fee. The  benefit to the utility is more points of payment, extended working hours and  hence better cash flows.

Forbes Technosys Limited has been deploying these machines in State-owned Power distribution companies like Punjab State Power  Corportation Ltd; Dakshin Gujrat Vij Co Ltd ; Paschim Gujrat Vij Co  Limited; MP VVKL; Tamil Nadu Electricity Board; UPCL; BSES Ltd through  Public-Private- Partnership Models.

The Power utility provides the space,  Forbes deploys the machine, hardware, software, connectivity and interfaces  with billing systems and runs the operations providing manned assistance to  bill paying consumers. The kiosks are collecting over Rs 100 crores a month  benefitting over 4 lakh consumers. They are connected to the billing servers of  the respective organisations and also to a National Operations and Control Centre. The customers are provided a receipt for every transaction and assisted  by a promotional executive to carry out the transactions.

IRCTC SMS
Implementing Agency: Spice Digital
     www.irctc.co.in

“IRCTC SMS” is a SMS based user information and confirmation service being  run exclusively for Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).  This service provides Booking, Cancellation and Registration confirmation through mobile messages, to the people booking Train tickets through IRCTC  website https://www.irctc.co.in.

IRCTC SMS is a 24*7 Service which covers all  transaction scenarios (Booking, Cancellation, waitlist cancellation, waitlist  conformation) and even registration confirmation. It is a part of the  m-Governance initiative and helps the masses (booking train tickets through  IRCTC) stay updated anytime through a simple text message. Once the ticket booking is done through IRCTC website, the user is always updated of his  booking status and has all the booking as well as registration records handy on  his mobile phone. With the increasing mobile penetration and almost  everything that is “e” now linking into “m”, this service is an integral part of the dream of a fully mobile society. Such confirmation services do exist for movie  ticket booking but leveraging such a platform for something like Train ticket  booking is a big advantage for the masses ‘a commoner’ who use train for travel.  The project is serving close to 3 crore registered users on IRCTC doing  over 3 lakh transactions daily.

The key challenge of the project was to handle  the large volumes of transactions for different services, seasonal demand  fluctuations.

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