Book train tickets through SMS from July
New Delhi, India, June 12, 2013: Train passengers will be able to book tickets through a simple SMSes from their mobile phones or a menu-based dialling service from July 1. The two non-internet systems developed by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) can be used with even simple feature phones. SMS-based booking,
“The bookings can be made from anywhere and at any time in a secure manner,” a senior IRCTC official said. “There is no need to log onto the internet or stand in a queue. Any mobile user can operate this system using handsets ranging from feature phones to smartphones.”
In the menu-based dialling service, unstructured supplementary data (USSD) is used. Users have to dial the numbers on the menu offered. Payment is made through mobile wallet. No internet connection is needed. Customers will not have to pay any data charges.
IRCTC provides a user-guided menu to book tickets, search stations and check the availability of berths.
“A dedicated telephone number will soon be provided to carry out the transactions,” said the official.
To use the SMS-based ticket service, first customers need to register with their banks to generate Mobile Money Identifier (MMID), a seven-digit random number. For the menu-based USSD system, they do not need to register with the bank and can authorized payment through a mobile wallet.
Six berths or seats can be booked in a single transaction through the new systems.
HOW TO DO THIS
Registered IRCTC users can use this service. Register your mobile number with IRCTC as well as your bank, which provides Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) and one-time password (OTP)
Send SMS to designated number in following format: BOOK
You receive a transaction ID
Make payment with an SMS to designated number in the following format
USSD (menu-based dialling)
Dial designated number, select ‘book tickets’ option, select ‘reservation’. You will be prompted to enter your IRCTC user ID once only. Eenter details (station, train no., date, etc).
Enter mPIN for authorizing payment through mobile wallet
Booking confirmation SMS comes from IRCTC
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