The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), is reportedly set to launch its own payment gateway as the online ticketing platform seeks additional revenue and looks to reduce dependency on third-party payment platforms.

According to a report on Mint, IRCTC is expected to start the pilot for its in-house payment gateway over the next 4-8 weeks. The ticketing platform is working with MMAD Communications to provide technology and back-end support.

The report adds that the payment gateway is internally being called ‘ipay’ and will be rolled out in phases once the testing is successfully completed. Once launched, ‘ipay’ will compete with the likes of Razorpay, Mobikwik and Paytm, who currently power IRCTC’s railway ticket booking transactions through their gateways.

Existing firms such as Razorpay and Mobikwik pay a one-time licensing fee to integrate with IRCTC’s website and mobile app and in-return they get a cut of revenue on every transaction on the ticketing platform that goes through them. Mint reports that the licensing fee could be between Rs 75 lakh to Rs 1 crore. Integration with the platform also gives them access to a high volume of transactions with substantial amounts being transacted.

The Mint reports that IRCTC completed its PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance last month, expects to offer its payment gateway services to other state and central departments after integrating it with its own platform.

Other payment players on IRCTC

In February, Payments company Razorpay partnered with IRCTC to help customers book train and flight tickets through UPI, in addition to existing payment modes like net banking, wallets and credit/debit cards. Through this partnership, Razorpay had said it expects to process more than a million transactions a month on IRCTC website and mobile app.

In October 2017, MobiKwik’s payment gateway, Zaakpay, partnered with IRCTC’s Rail connect app. The MobiKwik deal allowed users pay through channels like debit card, credit card, net banking, ATM cards, and mobile wallets. But it did not include UPI as a payment option. This was despite Zaakpay having allowed UPI payments through a separate partnership with ICICI Bank.

Paytm and PayU also integrated its payment gateway with IRCTC back in September 2016. Previously, IRCTC had to have individual tie-ups with banks.