Now, Indian Railways has joined up with Citibank to provide EMI facility for e-ticket bookings on Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation’s or IRCTC portal. Users can now go for IRCTC EMI option, besides credit or debit card and internet banking payment alternatives. The payment requires being done employing a Citibank credit card, in which the whole amount is reduced from the card and users reimburse the bank in monthly payments.

Provided that, at 2.4 million, Citibank has only 12.3% of India’s credit card support of 19.47 million, why has not the IRCTC joined up with diverse banks for offering EMI? At the very least, it requires tieing-up with additional banks, particularly ICICI, HDFC, and SBI – the three biggest issuers of credit cards in India, which comprises 58.9% of India’s credit card base.

COD on train tickets: IRCTC had allegedly declared plans of providing COD or cash on delivery payment alternative for purchasing railway tickets in August. The service was being made accessible via a partnership with BookMyTrain website and was anticipated to go live within four to six weeks. This move could prospectively have decreased travelers’ reliance on agents and allowed passengers in tier II and tier III cities without admittance to internet banking or credit and debit cards or those cautious of employing it for purchasing online, to book tickets on the IRCTC website.

Go-India smart card: Railway Minister had also introduced the Go-India smart card as a pilot project in twelve railway stations, in August. This had been initially suggested three years back all over the presentation of Railway Budget. The Go-India smart card runs similar to smart cards accessible for Metro services all over the country and can presently be employed only at counters and Automatic Ticket Vending Machines or ATVMs at twelve designated stations, involving Allahabad, New Delhi, Kanpur, Howrah, Kota and Mumbai Central amid others.

Digital wallet: Back in August 2012, IRCTC had also supposedly determined to introduce a digital wallet such as Rolling Deposit Scheme or RDS for e-ticket bookings. IRCTC had said that the main reason for launching RDS was to contradict the high breakdown rate in e-ticket booking due to the payment gateway problems. Users had to disburse Rs. 250 to open a RDS account and least deposits varied between Rs. 1500-2500.

The facility is present only for people investing Citibank credit cards at the instant. Till Railways join with different banks and roll it out for a bigger number of people, it will not profit a large number of people.

What is considerable, however, is the stable effort of the state possessed Railways to make the system more easy to use and to rationalize the booking process for them. As the facility is already offered for holders of Citibank credit cards, it should not take much time before other banks joined up with the Railways for this.

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