Chennai. In order to convert their excellent passenger experience into a passenger delight experience, Chennai Auto-driver Association (CHASSOC) has partnered with Barclays Capital to announce a set of auto-fare loans and EMI schemes for passengers who cannot afford to pay the final and total fare arrived after multiple rounds of negotiations and detours.
The auto-fare loans however will applicable only for rides above 10 kms because auto fare for these auto rides in Chennai usually crosses 1000 rupees. For rides which are less than 10 kms, the fare usually ends up between 500 to 1000 rupees, for which passengers can now pay the fare in 6 simple EMIs with a 5% interest rate and an 8% driver cess.
Mr. K. Thimmaiah, executive vice president of CHASSOC provided more details to media during a Q&A session: “At Chennai Auto-driver Association we care for our passengers. We completely understand that many passengers are now unable to use the auto services due to our premium fare rates, simply because not everyone can afford an auto ride these days in Chennai. However since we are here to serve our passengers we have come out with several financial-inclusion schemes to help our customers. Our main offerings include Auto-fare loans and Fare EMI schemes. The loan will have to be availed 3 days in advance before taking an auto ride, but EMIs based fare payments can be negotiated with the driver right at the time of availing the auto.”
When asked if the increased loan related paper-work will deter people from taking autos, Mr. Thimmaiah talked about how the whole process will be made more user-friendly: “The loans always come with some documentation, no one can help on that but for easy EMI process we are also coming up with a Barclays + CHASSOC platinum credit card for passengers, with an annual fee of 1500 rupees only.”
“Consequently each auto will also be fitted with a credit card machine where passengers can swipe this card for any fare transaction that exceeds 850 rupees. Such transactions will be automatically converted into 6 equal EMIs. Alternatively if you wish to pay your auto fare online through our website, we have also negotiated a payment gateway surcharge of 1.5% with Citi Bank which is lower than the usual 2%. And in case you use our Barclays + CHASSOC platinum credit card for online transaction we will even waive that payment gateway charge off!” a beaming Mr. Thimmaiah further added.
When asked if there would also be an improvement of in-auto facilities for passengers, Mr. Thimmaiah nodded in affirmation.
“With these new schemes customers will experience an automatic increase in level of service. Let me explain in detail, how that will happen. From now onwards you will just pay whatever amount the auto driver asks you to pay without asking any questions. If you feel that the fare being asked is impossible for you to pay in one go then our financial products will jump to your aid. So auto driver will be very happy now. But then the question is what do you as a customer gain out of this? I would say a lot. Because you don’t have to haggle anymore on the fare, you won’t be screamed upon, you won’t be manhandled, you won’t be stopped in the middle of your journey and asked to get down from auto. So ultimately you will also be happy. It’s a win-win for every party involved,” he concluded.