From July onwards, the Indian rail passengers will be able to book tickets using their mobile phones, as IRCTC, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways has recently announced the launch of SMS ticketing. Though, it is yet to announce the dedicated number for the same.
The mobile-based booking service will provide users with convenience of booking tickets from sending SMS with payments integrated. On booking ticket, passenger will get an SMS message which will be considered valid for the journey.
For using this service, one needs to get mobile number registered with IRCTC and with the bank as well. The payments will be facilitated by banks using MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) and OTP (one time password) for authorization of payment.
For booking the ticket, all the information like the train number, destination, journey date, class, and passenger details like name, age and gender are to be provided on the SMS box.
The sender will receive transaction ID, then payment can be made through sending another SMS by typing ‘PAY’ followed by the transaction ID, MMID as received from the bank and password.
The service will be available to all mobile subscribers with INR 3 being charged per SMS and INR 5 for ticket amount upto INR 5000 and INR 10 for more than Rs 5000.
As ticket booking through internet has less scope for expansion in the rural area due to lesser facilities, such a step can act fruitful for IRCTC to grow its revenues with larger mobile penetration.
IRCTC is also working to upgrade the capacity of IRCTC website to book 7,200 e-tickets per minute before the end of current fiscal, which is currently 2,000 tickets per minute.