Home > Feature > App Tracker: Which app—Paytm or redBus—is a better ticket window for bus commuters?


App Tracker: Which app—Paytm or redBus—is a better ticket window for bus commuters?

As promised we have come up with a full-blown comparison of two main players in the online bus ticketing space—redBus and Paytm. redBus was founded in 2005 and its mobile app came in around February this year. On the other hand, Paytm, an online recharge portal launched by On97 Communications, has now enhanced its services to include utility bills, deals and bus ticketing.

We could not find more standalone bus ticketing apps in Google Play and the one that we found (Mybustickets.in) failed to function citing low Internet connectivity even on Wifi.

Here is a comparison of the two bus ticketing apps.

redBus

The oldest player and the market leader in the space had our hopes high and didn’t really disappoint us either. The homepage is simple and clutter-free; upon filling the requirements it takes ones to a neatly done list of buses available on the chosen route. We noticed that it didn’t show up any buses for some popular routes such as Delhi-Dehradun or Gurgaon-Agra or Gurgaon-Jaipur.

redbus

It seems its network is stronger in southern regions. User interface works fine without any lag. Commuters have an option to call the customer care at any step of booking the ticket. The listed buses can be sorted on the basis of timing, rating and fare. Seats and boarding points too can be selected without any flitch. Further a filter icon on the top right of the screen of bus listings allows users to sort options on the basis of AC, non-AC, sleeper, etc and select drop-off points as well. However, one may not even notice the icon initially; it could have been displayed more prominently. In terms of payment options, all popular modes—debit/credit card, net banking and cash on delivery—are available.

Overall the booking process is glitch-free and user interface is easy to use. It is a simple-to-use app and does its job well.
Final rating: 4/5 (we feel some routes need more listings and the sorting process could be bit easier)

Paytm

The new entrant has forayed into online bus ticketing in December last year and launched its mobile app just days ago. But we were pretty surprised with the app’s interface, to say the least—the user interface is much smoother and slicker. In this app commuters can sort the buses on filters such as timing, fare and other criteria such as AC, non-AC, sleeper, etc.

paytm

Users can also choose drop-off points along with boarding points. The filters are much more visible and prominent in this app. If you don’t have a Paytm account, you can just sync it with your Facebook account; this is quite a handy feature. All popular payment modes—except cash on delivery—are there. Also, whatever mode you choose from—credit/debit card and net banking—you can see all bank options to select from. It also has features such as recharge, bill payments, etc. All in all it’s a slick app. It is not much different in terms of usability from its counterpart but the whole experience is better and quicker.

Final rating: 5/5 (with this one, we couldn’t deduct any points)

Online bus ticketing is gaining traction steadily. It is much more popular in routes in southern and south-western states, due to better roads and more organised bus routes. While redBus is a leader in the sector, Paytm is slowly catching up.

Comparing the number of downloads for both the apps would be a little unfair as redBus has been in the market for quite some time. Also for Paytm’s app, the number of downloads doesn’t necessarily indicate the popularity of bus ticketing feature since it has many more features such as recharge of prepaid mobile, DTH, bill payments, etc. In terms of user-friendliness Paytm emerged the winner for this week’s App Tracker. We suggest you give both the apps a spin and let us know which one you found better.

We will be back with our next edition of App Tracker next week.

9 Comments

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shashank May 17, 2013 15:51

Hi Everyone

Never use REDBUS service, I used it for Delhi to LKO and it was pathetic, worst.

No punctuality, no talking Sense, no professionalism. They are cheaters and trap travellers and have worst service.

Kishore kv May 17, 2013 21:38

There are many other apps like travelyaari.in, Make my trip, go ibibo etc. Pls do proper homework guys before publishing reviews.

Rahul Malhotra May 20, 2013 13:48

The above comparison demonstrates a lack of understanding of the subject matter.

Bus industry in India is primarily centered in South. Routes in North India, hardly contribute to the overall market hence can’t be termed as “Popular Routes”. Maybe, the author is Delhi based. If you check on Paytm, the large bus operators like KSRTC (top 3 bus operator in India) are not there.

A key factor / filter for buses which is a highly fragmented market with low confidence on part of the consumers on these thousands of bus operators, “Ratings & Reviews” becomes the most critical aspect of a marketplace. This is completely missing in the PayTM app. Also, there are no tips from customers of particular bus service, and no display of “real time” seat inventory.

So howcome a 5/5 rating in light of the above with lack of such key functionality.

Rahul Malhotra May 20, 2013 15:51

@Shashank – whom do you blame when an Airline is delayed and keeps you waiting or denies you boarding if you are just 2 minutes late or the crew treats you badly in the flight? Is that an issue of MakeMyTrip or the Airline?

Jashish May 21, 2013 10:21

Very sad to read such low quality of writeup on esteemed site like VCCircle. Article claims that PayTM has more inventory than redBus. Actually, payTM picks inventory feeds from redBus so how come they have more inventory (fact that payTM takes bus feeds from redBus has been talked on twitter). Besides this, PayTM doesn’t have inventory for KSRTC which is one major govt owned RTC. redBus does have that inventory.

PayTM doesn’t have ratings for buses which redBus app has. Ratings is extremely critical feature for unstructured market like bus travel. How would a customer know “what bus to go by”.

In addition, redBus has integrated GPS location of boarding points with redBus android app so that users can do turn by turn navigation to bus stop. Besides this, many other things are completely missing from payTM app.

How is author claiming 4/5 for redBus whereas 5/5 for payTM. Unfortunately, this seems like a paid piece of journalism or lack of research by author.

Rahul Malhotra June 3, 2013 14:41

@ Jashish – I complete agree with your views. pretty much in line what I thought about their “so called research / comparison”

Sonam Gulati June 3, 2013 18:20

@Kishore: Makemytrip ‘app’ doesn’t have bus ticket bookings even though the site does. As mentioned in the beginning of the review, this was a comparison of the two main players.

@Rahul, routes of North India might not be the biggest contributor to the bus ticketing market but the routes we mentioned are pretty popular. Also, at the end of the day, it’s a review of the app and as a user while booking tickets we found Paytm’s app much more user friendly and easier to use. The only thing which seems to be missing from Paytm app is the ratings feature. Rest, the apps have similar features on almost all counts. That said this review is based more on user-friendliness and the whole ease of the application, rather than route by route comparison of inventory, which is where Paytm scored.

@Jashish: The review doesn’t say that Paytm has ‘more’ inventory than redBus it mentions some key routes which were totally absent at that time on redBus. Also, Paytm and redBus launched the GPS location on the same day, please refer to this story http://techcircle.vccircle.com/2013/03/12/paytm-offers-bus-location-tracking-in-real-time-how-it-differs-from-redbus/

That said, it’s great to have your views. It will help us improve the breadth of coverage under App Tracker.

Arman June 12, 2013 18:15

@Sonam,
The reason redBus wasnt showing Delhi-Dehradun route and paytm showing can be because
redBus app doesnt list out SOLD OUT bus tickets while paytm app does !!!
Plenty of times I have seen this happening !!! Even Paytm website does this.. Lists buses inspite of them being sold out.
The fact that paytm picks its bus feed from redbus means paytm can never show more bus routes than redbus !!!
I agree paytm app is cool to use but without reviews features, it should score less than redbus !!!
The review appears biased !!!

Amit Somani June 16, 2013 16:42

@Sonam Clearly, you haven’t looked. Makemytrip has offered Bus on Mobile – through our Native App on Android, iOS and also our touch site (m.makemytrip.com) since Jan 2013!

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