Indian Rail Adds A Mobile-Booking Option

- Updated August 23, 2015

Passengers on the Indian Railways, the world’s second-largest rail network, now may use their mobile phones to book their tickets through a new offering from the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp. The agency, an information-technology venture under the Ministry of Railways, launched a mobile version of its popular online ticket-booking portal on Jan. 5. It previously offered only a Web browser version from which passengers could search for trains and buy tickets through online banking services and bankcards. “Now the same Web experience would be possible on a mobile version, which would be usable free of cost on data-enabled mobile handsets,” a spokesperson for the corporation tells PaymentsSource. Users must open their mobile browser and enter the link to the Web version of the site, which accesses a beta version of the mobile site. They then would log in using the same credentials used to access the Web version, he says. “After that, you would have to choose your destinations, the train, class and seats, just like you would on the Web,” the spokesperson says. Only customers of Citibank Pvt. Ltd. may make payments via online banking and bankcards for now, the spokesperson says. “Other banks would be added progressively, and we will have the full list of banks as we have on the website soon enough,” he says. Similar to Web bookings, users must pay the regular ticket fare along with service charge and an agent-service charge of 10 rupees (18 U.S. cents or 15 euro cents) for sleeper class and 20 rupees for higher classes. Users receive a text message with full details of the transaction, including booking number, train number, date of journey and class, he says. The agency will continue to work with third party payment providers such as Paymate Pvt. Ltd., which offers train bookings through their mobile applications, the spokesperson says. “We will also launch our own application for [Apple] and Android devices soon,” he says.

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