Online ticket booking web-portal for the Indian Railways, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has added yet another milestone by allowing customer to instantly pay for their tickets via mobile phones. The Interbank Mobile Payment Service or IMPS is envisaged to help IRCTC accept payments from mobile based transaction in a secure & rapid fashion without needing a computer.
IMPS is a e-payment technique which we covered earlier, & has been introduced in conjunction with Banks & other payment processing agencies backed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It is a completely independent system that any service provider can opt for, while at the same time, the end-user can choose to pay for the services through any of his registered account from any banks that have chosen to participate. Furthermore IMPS is geared to cater to the rising number of mobile phone users who are gradually starting to buy from these miniature devices itself. The beauty of this system is that the end-user need not possess a smartphone. IMPS works equally well on basic & feature phones as it relies on SMS & the mobile number itself as transmission & authentication points respectively.
We have witnessed other types of mobile based payments earlier like Airtel Money. But there are a couple of major drawbacks to these systems. The fact that customers are locked down with a single money processing agency & have to ‘re-charge’ it with money prior to using it, means customer do not enjoy the flexibility & freedom that IMPS offers.
IRCTC, as ticketing agent had been trying hard to add features, that customers could find easy to use & enhance its sales. There were even plans to add air-ticketing to its line of offerings. It seems IRCTC is attempting to shed its image as an Online Ticketing Agent & take on a more broader role of an Online Travel Agent (OTA).
What additions can our readers suggest for IRCTC?
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