Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) launched a new prepaid card service in partnership with the Union Bank of India and the National Payment Corporation of India.

The RuPay prepaid card will initially allow passengers to book their rail tickets and later expand to include facilities for shopping and bill payments.

Available from UBI offices or through IRCTC online, the co-branded card will allow customers to carry out fast and robust ticket booking.

The card will be offered in two variants including virtual card as well as physical card with loading limits of INR10,000 ($160.4) and INR50,000 ($802.2) respectively.

The card will provide benefits to customers such as free accident insurance coverage worth INR100,000 ($1,604) as well as the opportunity to collect reward points on every transaction and round the clock recharge of cards.

As an introductory offer, the first five transactions per card every month for booking train tickets on IRCTC will be free and also transaction charge will not be levied for six months for buying tickets.

Following the free usage, customer will be charged INR10 ($0.16) per transaction. The initial value of the card is INR10,000 ($160.4), which can be recharged.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said the initiative is in line with the government’s financial inclusive programme and the railways is partnering with banks and financial institutions to promote passengers interest.

RuPay, India’s card payment gateway network provides an alternative system for banks to provide a debit card service.