The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) which sells over seven lakh tickets a day does 14 per cent of its business via payment major Paytm. The Alibaba-backed company reportedly emerged as the market leader with one lakh users of total booking choose Paytm over others.
Being a mobile-friendly, offering cashbacks, discounts and easy to pay through the wallet Paytm has been able to grab a major chunk of online payments pie.
Mired by slow payments process and own payments gateway, payments and wallet platforms like Paytm, Mobikwik, SBI Buddy, Ola Money and other UPI-enabled platforms are being preferred by users while booking the online train ticket.
Of late, Paytm has been claiming high growth in travel ticketing vertical. The Vijay Shekhar Sharma-led company has reportedly sold out 38 million air, bus, and rail ticket in FY18. Currently, it’s selling about 4 million tickets every month which can give a tough fight to country’s largest OTA – MakeMyTrip.
According to official data, over 70 per cent of passenger reservations claimed to be done via online channels. Importantly, the figure was hovering around 58 per cent during demonitisation.
As far as daily online bookings, the peak hour (10 AM to 12 PM) witnesses over 7.8 lakh tickets sold via IRCTC. During rush hours, over 17,000 tickets can be sold in a minute. The credit goes to IRCTC system which was upgraded with more powerful Hexa Core servers from the earlier Dual Core servers.
Besides, IRCTC offers 53 modes of payment include wallets, banks, apps like BHIM, netbanking, and credit and debit cards and newly added feature cash-on-delivery (COD). There are also cash-cards and mobile wallets such as iCASH Card, Paytm Wallet, Ola Money Wallet and SBI Buddy.
At present, payment platforms such as Mobikwik, PayU and Paytm, power IRCTC’s railway ticket booking transactions through their gateways. Third party payment gateways pay around Rs 75 lakh-1 Crore for a one-time licensing fee to integrate with IRCTC’s website and mobile app and in return share revenues with IRCTC on every transaction that goes through them.
Meanwhile, the subsidiary of Indian railway has rolled out an e-wallet service that lets users book tickets, including Tatkal tickets via IRCTC Rail Connect app. The planning of launching its own payments gateway can happen anytime soon.
The development was reported by BusinessLine.