Payments platform Paytm reportedly accounts for 14% of the total number of online payments made on the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website, which processes over 700,000 e-ticket bookings every day. A report on the Hindu BusinessLine quotes an IRCTC official who said that 100,000 of the 700,000 tickets sold on IRCTC are paid for via Paytm, which makes it the leading payment mode for train ticket purchases.

The report also stated that online bookings account for 70% of all Railways ticketing in the country. The IRCTC, a public sector unit of the national transporter that front-ends online booking, now offers 53 ways, including cash-on-delivery, to make payments for e-bookings.

The report adds that Paytm ad pipped HDFC Bank to emerge as the leader in this space two years ago, driven primarily by the growth in mobile internet and people warming up to mobile wallets.

“In digitisation, we have fared the best among all government arms. Even from the 1990s, we had the Passenger Reservation System. E-ticket booking in the reserved segment has touched 70% of overall booking, from 58% during demonetisation,” Mohammad Jamshed, Member-Traffic, Indian Railways told BusinessLine.

Daily online bookings on IRCTC could go upwards of 7.8 lakh tickets, with sales peaking between 11 am and 12 noon, the report adds. About 1.61 lakh bookings can be transacted online during the peak hour. During rush hours, over 17,000 tickets can be sold in a minute.

Paytm and travel

Paytm had recently highlighted its rapid growth in the travel booking vertical, the payments company had unveiled that it has sold 38 million air, bus and rail tickets in FY18. At present, the company claims that it is selling around 4 million tickets every month, which in terms of volume puts it on par with MakeMyTrip the country’s top OTA (Online Travel Agent).

For comparison, MakeMyTrip had reported 13.2 million ticket sales (9 million bus ticket + 4.2 million air tickets) for the quarter ended December 31, 2017, which is an average of 4.4 million. But one thing that skewers the number in favour of Paytm is that MakeMyTrip does not account train bookings into this figure.