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IRCTC waives service fee for offline card payments; why not online payments too?


Indian Railways will not charge service fee on payments made via cards, while purchasing train tickets at railway platforms, reports The Hindu. Service charge levied on net banking and card payments for tickets booked on IRCTC’s online ticket portal remain the same.

It’s worth noting that earlier this year, the Union cabinet had decided to remove surcharge and service tax on online payments charged by government organizations and other ministries. But IRCTC’s revenues would get impacted by the move as banks charge an interchange fee while handling card transactions online, which ends up being part of the service charge that is transferred to consumers.

IRCTC portal charges a service fee of Rs 20 (including additional tax) for second & sleeper class tickets and Rs 40 (including additional tax) for first class & AC tickets. IRCTC’s online site claims to receive 4.5 to 5 lakh bookings per day on an average.

Other IRCTC Tie ups for online payment

Tie up with mRupee: In February, Tata Teleservices‘s subsidiary MMP Mobi Wallet Payment Systems, which offers a money transfer and payment service ‘mRupee’ partnered with the IRCTC to enable users to use its wallet to book tickets. IRCTC will continue offering other modes of payment along with the mRupee wallet.

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Tie up with Paytm: In December 2015, mobile commerce player Paytm and IRCTC had tied up to let IRCTC passengers use Paytm to pay for e-catering services, in addition to the currently existing online payment and cash on delivery modes. In May 2015, IRCTC said that it will start offering Paytm wallet as an option to pay for train tickets online

Limitation on tickets

In January, the Railway Ministry announced that from 15 February 2016, individual users would be able to book only 6 train tickets online per month on the IRCTC website. Before this, individual users could book a maximum of 10 tickets per month.

Recent updates from IRCTC

-Last month, IRCTC had tied up with ZoopIndia, an online food delivery aggregator, which will let IRCTC passengers get food delivered from ZoopIndia to their train seats.

-In the same month, IRCTC’s website was suspected to be hacked by unidentified attackers and user data was said to be at risk. However, the ministry of railways said through a press stament that there has been no hacking attempts made on the IRCTC site or servers/databases.

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In March, it was reported that users of Indian Railways would be able to cancel their train tickets by dialing 139 and presenting the one time password (OTP) sent to the mobile number to the rail counter to get a refund, from last month. However, that doesn’t seem to be rolled out yet.

– In February, IRCTC introduced e-bedroll, a paid service where train passengers can book the bedsheet top, bedsheet bottom, pillow and a fabric pack for their journey at Chennai and Trivandrum Central Railway Stations.

Update: Headline and the post was edited for clarity.

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