SMS to book railway tickets from July 1

The Indian Railways will launch a pilot project of ticketing through non-Internet-based mobile phones from July 1, 2013.

In a release, the railway authorities said the objective was to facilitate anywhere, anytime and hassle-free booking of tickets.

To be launched by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the initiative will enable people using non-Internet based mobile phones to easily access railway ticketing services through SMS/IVRS/USSD and the scheme is user-friendly, secure and also eco-friendly, as no printout is required.

There will be a number (to be announced in due course) to which the SMS can be sent and there will be no need of Internet for booking tickets, making payment or cancelling tickets.

“One has to register the mobile number with IRCTC as well as one’s bank. The bank will provide MMID (mobile money identifier) and OTP (one-time password) for authorisation of the payment. The passenger has to type the train number, destination, journey date, class and passenger details like name, age and gender on the SMS box. The sender will receive a transaction ID and then the customer can make the payment by way of sending another SMS by typing PAY followed by the transaction ID, MMID as received from the bank and the password.”“On successful booking of the ticket, a message will be sent to the user by the IRCTC which will suffice as the valid authority to travel along with the photo ID in original.

Ordinary mobile phones without Internet can be used to book tickets

Making payment for the ticket and cancellation also will be possible through SMS service

Book rail tickets on mobiles

Even without a debit or credit card or net banking facility, customers can now book their railway tickets online, thanks to the introduction of the IMPS (Interbank Mobile Payment System) by the IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited).

IMPS now allows inter-bank payments through mobile phones. A customer won’t require a computer to purchase train tickets.

The charge for using the IMPS facility has been pegged at Rs. 5 for a transaction of up to Rs. 5000, and Rs. 10 thereafter. According to the IRCTC, by providing an additional payment option, it would be able to make the functioning of its website smoother.

Booking via the IMPS will be possible for only those who have registered their mobile numbers with their respective bank accounts, as they would be required to furnish their unique MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) and the M-PIN (Mobile PIN).

Things will become much smoother in the near future when a customer will be able to book his/her tickets through mobile SMSs without having to access the internet or using a debit or credit card.