online travel

It’s finally here: Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has introduced cash on delivery (CoD) payment option for buying train tickets in partnership with BookMyTrain.com, reports PTI. Last year in August, it was first reported that IRCTC was looking to offer CoD.

The report mentions that CoD has been introduced on a pilot mode and the service will initially be available in around 200 cities across the country. Passengers will be allowed to opt for CoD for tickets booked for journeys 5 days or more in advance. For Sleeper Class tickets a convenience fee of Rs 40 will be charged, while for III-tier and II-tier AC class tickets the fee is Rs 60, which is the same for IRCTC’s e-tickets.

Unfortunately, just like IRCTC apps or third party websites that offer train bookings in partnership with IRCTC, the BookMyTrain platform doesn’t work between 8am and 12 pm everyday.

bookmytrain

BookMyTrain is operated by Noida-based Anduril Technologies that was incubated by Amity Innovation Incubator and builds tech solutions for domains like, payments, microfinance, telecom and ERP. Anduril will be responsible for ticket delivery, cash management and cancellations.

Impact: IRCTC’s online ticketing site is known to have significant traffic load issues, although it had launched a new ticketing platform last year, which appears to be one that actually stays up. A Livemint report from last year informed that IRCTC site was facing a transaction failure rate of around 30% until March 2014. CoD is likely to reduce the rate of transaction failures on the site. Also, a number of users are still wary of online payments, which CoD will negate.

In October last year, Indian Railways had tied-up with Citibank to offer EMI facility for e-ticket bookings on IRCTC. At the time, we had pointed out that the decision to team up with Citibank was surprising since at 2.4 million its credit card base accounted for just 12.3% of India’s credit card base of 19.47 million. There is a need for Indian Railways to tie-up with other banks like HDFC, ICICI Bank and SBI that have a much larger credit card base.

In the same month, IRCTC also released its official Android app. The app allows users to search for and book rail tickets, check existing reservations, cancel reservations and get upcoming journey alerts. Just like BookMyTrain, the app also doesn’t work between 8am and 12 pm.