Train ticket booking is now as easy as sending an SMS. IRCTC will be launching a new project of booking the train tickets through non Internet based mobile phones from July 1st, 2013. A person who needs to book ticket now does not require an online account or internet connection. Railway ticket services are available via SMS. At a time, one can book 6 seats/births through this method. IRCTC will be providing a new dedicated number for SMS booking facility.
The facility can be used by all mobile subscribers and SMS charge for ticket booking is Rs 3/- The service charge for booking tickets up to Rs 5000 is Rs 5 and Rs 10 for above 5000 Rs. Before using this facility, one has to register their bank account for mobile payment system. The tickets will be received to your mobile phone via SMS. This can be used as the ticket with your photo identity as proof. There is no need of a printed copy of the ticket. There is option for ticket cancellation as well.
There are 2 methods for SMS ticket booking. They are Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and Mobile Money Identifier (MMIM) methods. If you are selecting the USSD method, dial the dedicated number for IRCTC ticket booking service and select the train and date as mentioned in the menu, just as you recharge your mobile. The payment is done using the mobile wallet.
Another method is the Mobile Money Identifier method. In order to use this facility, a person has to first register their mobile number with IRCTC and your bank. The bank provides you with a 7 digit Mobile Money Identifier and a One-time Password for authorization of the payment.
The passenger has to send the ticket details such as train number, source, destination, journey date, class and passenger details such as passenger name, age and gender as SMS to the dedicated number. The sender then receives a transaction ID via message. The passenger now has to send another SMS by typing PAY followed by the transaction ID and MMID as received from the bank and password.
After the ticket is booked successfully, a message is sent by IRCTC to the passenger. This is the valid ticket along with the photo proof.
Some of the advantages of this ticket booking system is that anybody can book the tickets from anywhere at any time securely and does not require internet connection or wait in long queues. This method also doesn’t require a smart phone as SMS could be sent from ordinary phones.