India-based OTA Goibibo has launched a virtual wallet, goCash, which will instantly credit customers with refunds on cancellations.
In India, processing refund is an area that definitely needs improvement. On an average it takes three to four working days to process refund and credit the money back to the customer debit/credit card, says goibibo. In the case of Net Banking payment option, it takes two to four working days.
Though the OTA processes the refund immediately at its end, the payment gateway/banks take a day to forward the request to issuing back which in turn acknowledge goibibo and takes one to two business days for processing at their end.
Goibibo wanted to eliminate this process of delayed refunds and introduced goCash service where customers will be given an option to accept refund amounts (upon cancellation) instantly into this account.
Users can use the currency in goCash account to make a new reservation, or they can also part-pay from goCash and other payment options.
Currently, users cannot transfer money into the goCash account to enable faster booking, however the company says it would definitely look into providing this option.
To promote this new service, the company is offering customers a 2% bonus goCash for a period of three months.
Recently, Indian Railways launched a similar service, but users should create a new account with the website to deposit money (non-refundable) into the account. Users can use this e-wallet service to make a reservation. But, the major setback to this e-wallet is that its not usable during the peak ticket booking hours of 8 am to 12 pm.
Tnooz spoke to COO of Goibibo, Deepak Tuli:
What's the drive behind the goCash initiative?
We work for our consumers and getting refund post-booking is a big concern with all the consumers.
About a year ago, we initiated this process of fast refund. At that time it used to take 10 – 14 days for refund, later we reduced this time to three to four days.
This (launch of goCash) is our second step where in a user can get instant refund.
Are you the first Indian online travel agent to offer this virtual wallet service?
I don’t know of anyone else doing the same in any way at this point in time.
Future plans of goCash product?
Now, the product is successfully live, based on customers requirement/suggestion we will keep improving the product to add more value to our customers.
Customers are already sharing really interesting ideas and opportunities with us on goCash and we are quite keen on implementing those ideas.
Also, they are highlighting the importance of goCash in cases of instant refunds, seamless refunds in case of credit-card/debit-card expiry, rescheduling and gifting holidays.
Will this goCash product result in increased conversion?
It is still early days to comment on conversion but initial reactions are extremely encouraging. Daily over 250 customers use this service and their feedback is very positive.
We are confident that this service will increase customer confidence in our brand and repeat purchase. Moreover, goCash is strongly adding to customer delight on goibibo platform.