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IRCTC To Introduce Online Prepaid Deposits To Curb Failed Transactions

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which manages the online rail ticketing for the Indian Railways, has decided to launch a Rolling Deposit Scheme (RDS), essentially an online wallet-like deposit, to book tickets online on the IRCTC website, reports The Hindu. It’s unclear as to when IRCTC will implement RDS. We couldn’t find the procedure to register or more information about the service on IRCTC’s website.

According to the report, users will be able to open an RDS account with a registration fee of Rs 250, which can be redeemed later for transactions, and with a minimum deposit ranging between Rs 1,500-2,500.

Why need a PAN? To register for the account, users also need to submit their PAN (Permanent Account Number), which will be linked to PIN and password. RDS account users can check their transaction history, manage the account online and top it up online, as well. In case of ticket cancellation, the refund would be deposited in the user’s RDS account the very next day. But we’re not sure if there’s a way to transfer money out of the RDS account to the user’s bank account. Why does IRCTC want the user’s PAN? This would limit the faciliy to users who have a PAN card. Non residents would also not be able to avail the service. Why can’t the IRCTC just integrate a closed wallet without the need for PAN, registration fee and a minimum deposit?

One of the reason for introducing RDS is the high failure rate in e-ticket booking due to the payment gateway issues, according to the IRCTC. With the new system in place, the money will be deducted directly from the RDS and users will not have to face the payment gateways which cause majority of the failures, specially at peak hours.  Once the system is implemented, users would also benefit from the eliminated payment gateway charges. But to encourage users to avail this, IRCTC must waive off any registration charges and the need for PAN details.

Other developments related to IRCTC

IRCTC recently introduced a one-time registration process and made it mandatory for all users who intend to book train tickets through third party websites like Cleartrip, MakeMyTrip, Yatra and others, to have an IRCTC account before booking a train ticket online. In April 2012, the corporation also entered the airline ticketing space with the launch of air.irctc.co.in.

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