The state-owned company Ukrzaliznytsia has launched a pilot project of a chatbot in Viber (ukr_railway) and Telegram (@Ukrzaliznytsia_Tickets_Bot) messengers. In the first release, it is possible to purchase tickets for the Intercity + trains.
As the company’s Acting Board Member, the Head of the branch Passenger Company, Alexander Pertsovsky, said at a briefing, the chatbot has a notification function that says on what platform a particular train arrives. As quoted by the agency Interfax-Ukraine, there were many requests to develop this function.
What can the Ukrzaliznytsia bot do?
The Ukrzaliznytsia bot is available in three languages —Ukrainian, English, and Russian. And in addition to reference information, it provides an opportunity for feedback. In the first release, the bot can find tickets for high-speed trains Intercity +: their cost, availability. There you can also buy and return tickets.
The latter function is being tested for the Kyiv railway station and mainly in the Intercity category, but later it will be available for all trains and directions, Pertsovsky said. Moreover, a pilot online board service is already operating for the Kyiv railway station. It warns if the train is late.
As for the ticket payment, it can be done with the help of the bot without a "redirect". To do this, you need to add a payment card in an electronic wallet or use Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Viber Chatbot Payments. According to Pertsovsky, the company's chatbots will also work in other messengers.
It is also worth noting that chat bots have been launched in cooperation with the Visa payment system and the American company Middleware based on the Corezoid Hyperautomation Engine technology.