After allowing passengers to use text messages received on their mobile phones as a valid ticket, Indian Railways is all set to introduce ticket bookings via SMS or a menu-based dialling service from July 1. A dedicated number for ticket-booking should be announced soon by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) who has developed both these non-Internet based ticketing services. With these services too, users can show the mticket SMS alert that they receive on their phone and negate the need for a printout of the ticket.
Book your train ticket with an SMS (Image credit: Getty Images)
This SMS-based service will be available to registered IRCTC users. They have to register their number with IRCTC and also with their bank. The users will be provided with the Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) and one-time password (OTP). On sending an SMS which states “BOOK” followed by train number, destination, journey date, class and passenger details like name, age and gender, the user will receive a transaction ID and can make payments with an SMS to a designated number. They will have to type in "PAY" followed by the transaction ID and MMID as received from the bank and password.
The menu-based dialling is an IVR service where the user has to dial the dedicated number to book tickets for her journey. The payment authorisation is done via the mobile wallet. Once the booking is confirmed, IRCTC will send an SMS to the user.
The IRCTC website has been promoting green ticketing and asking passengers to show their SMS based tickets rather than a printed copy. Booking tickets via SMS is a step further to their green ticketing initiative. Though this could ease the burden on the IRCTC website which has been unable to bear the load, we hope the system is efficient and stable to avoid glitches while booking via phone.
IRCTC will make this service available to all mobile subscribers. Each SMS will incur a charge of Rs 3 and the payment gateway charge is Rs 5 for tickets amounting Rs 5000 and Rs 10 for tickets that cost above Rs 5,000.
Published Date: Jun 12, 2013 11:08 am | Updated Date: Jun 12, 2013 11:08 am