IRCTC mulls prepayment cards to reduce transaction failure rate

Written by Rajat Arora | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 29 2012, 06:19am hrs
To reduce the failure rate and transaction time on the rail ticket booking website, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will launch in November a rolling deposit scheme, an online payment card for all transactions on its ticketing website, for frequent travellers.

IRCTC is expecting to get necessary clearance from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for payment gateway of its website by the end of September after which the rolling deposit scheme will be launched.

Users have to deposit the money with IRCTC in advance. And instead of going through the bank payment gateway for booking a rail ticket, users will just have to enter their IRCTC transaction ID and password. The IRCTC payment gateway is expected to reduce the transaction time by 50%.

The blueprint for the scheme has been prepared and we are awaiting RBI nod for our payment gateway, which will substantially reduce the transaction time, and the number of payment failure will also come down, said a senior IRCTC officer, on condition of anonymity.

Around 4 lakh rail tickets are booked every day through IRCTC website and the failure rate of ticket bookings is around 25%.

Presently, IRCTC has a tie up with all major banks and manages 18 payment gateways. According to the information provided by the minister of state for railways, Bharatsinh Solanki, to Rajya Sabha last week, over 120 lakh railway tickets purchased through IRCTC website from April last year to June remained unbooked despite making of payments due to network failure.

The user will need to deposit a minimum amount of R1,500 in IRCTC online transaction card, after that he will be able to make ticket payments through the IRCTC card instead of his bank debit or credit card, the officer said.