• Indian Railways have made efforts to enhance digital transactions as per policy of the Government by enabling additional modes of payment for ticket booking on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website as well as on the ticket booking counters and by giving incentives as detailed below:-
- The payment for tickets booked through IRCTC website is made through various cashless modes such as net banking, through credit/debit cards, cash cards, e-wallets and Unified Payment Interface (UPI)/Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM). To incentivise payment through digital means, service charge on online booking of tickets was withdrawn for the tickets booked from 23.11.2016. The facility has been extended upto 31.08.2018.
- UPI/BHIM is also accepted as payment option while booking tickets through counter. 5% discount on the total value of basic fare in Passenger Reservation System (PRS) reserved counter ticket is given for payments made through UPI including BHIM subject to maximum amount of discount of Rs. 50 on a ticket and value of ticket being Rs. 100 and more.
- Indian Railways have tied up with State Bank of India to install 10,000 Point of Sale (POS) machines at various locations of Indian Railways i.e. Passenger Reservation System (PRS)/Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) ticket booking counters and Parcel/Goods locations.
- Booking of tickets through mobile phone has also been introduced wherein payment can be made through credit/debit cards, net banking, e-wallets etc. Bonus of 5% of the recharge value is given at the time of recharge of R-wallet for a period of three months in case of unreserved ticket booking through mobile phone.
- Service charge applicable on transactions against credit/debit cards for purchasing journey tickets at UTS/PRS counters has been withdrawn.
- International credit/debit cards issued outside India are accepted for booking of
e-tickets through IRCTC website.
- Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) have been introduced to facilitate sale of unreserved tickets which have provision of payment through smart cards. Bonus of 3% of recharge value is given on every recharge of the ATVM smart card for promoting use of ATVM bookings.
- 0.5% discount is given on purchase of season tickets through digital means with effect from 01.01.2017 upto 31.08.2018.
- 5% discount is given on booking of Retiring rooms through digital means.
- Free of cost accidental insurance cover upto Rs.10 lakh has been extended to confirmed/Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC) online ticket holders
The percentage share of tickets booked through digital modes of payment has been increasing particularly in the case of reserved ticket booking. The reserved tickets booked through digital means constituted approximately 66% of total reserved tickets booked in Financial Year (F.Y.) 2017-18 as compared to approximately 60% in F.Y. 2016-17. During the current year 2018-19 (upto June, 2018) approximately 68% of total reserved tickets were booked through digital means.
Apart from passenger ticket booking which is the key operational area for enhancing digital transactions, Railways have also introduced digital payment modes viz. POS machines at Goods/Parcel locations and also Catering. Further, instructions have been given in Catering Policy 2017 to promote digital transactions through static catering units on Indian Railways. It is mandatory for the licensees providing catering service under IRCTC to have BHIM app and Paytm as payment options and all vendors to have BHIM/QR code for processing receipts of payments. Online booking of retiring rooms has also been made available to passengers at selected stations.