IRCTC Makes Aadhar Card Mandatory For Ticket Booking

Starting December 2016, you would need to have an aadhar id to book train tickets – for both reserved and unreserved categories; besides holding true for online as well as counter tickets.

The benefits are huge – this will certainly bring down illegal/unauthorized bookings by agents who often game the system. But it will also make the entire process very cumbersome (what about foreign travellers?).

IRCTC Launches Travel Insurance

IRCTC is hopeful that with launch of Aadhar linked ticketing services in all booking categories, even unreserved, will boost its travel insurance service. As of now railways insurance service is limited to online reserved ticketing and with Aadhar, it can be extended to unreserved category as railways will have access to personal data of passenger in unreserved category (source).

Food Aggregator ZoopIndia Will Now Deliver Food To Train Passengers

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Cooperation (IRCTC) has appointed ZoopIndia as one of its official Food Aggregator for ordering food in train journeys.

The technology startup is slated to enhance passengers’ convenience by delivering food right at their seats.

Backed by an in-house technology and contemporary IT systems, ZoopIndia enables passengers to select from Veg or Non-Veg Thalis, South Indian, Chinese Cuisines and a delightful collection of snacks and fast food options.

ZoopIndia has crossed the level of serving 10,000 meals per month across different rail routes, being present at 100 PAN India stations. The startup has set its eyes firm on further enhancing the platform and eventually serving 5000 meals a day.

IRCTC Website Hacked! [Updated]

India’s largest e-commerce website IRCTC which completes more than 5 lakh transactions everyday has been hacked, according to reports.

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Government owned e-ticketing portal had stored personal data of around 1 crore customers, including email IDs, mobile numbers and Pan Card details which is said to be stolen from the server. But the Government officials asserted that IRCTC’s payment gateway directs the customers to banks’ site which have more watertight firewalls and thus no card data would have been compromised.

Delhi police’s cyber cell has been asked to probe the  matter and see how far have the hackers got into the system, but no official complaint has been made so far.

Last year, the Indian Railways had spent Rs 100 crore on upgrading the website but it only enhanced the speed of the ticketing process and not security.

Update:

IRCTC has denied and tweeted that the website has not been hacked.

IRCTC Partners With Simpli5d Technologies To Enhance Security And Boost Ad Revenues

IRCTC has partnered with Simpli5d Technologies, an advertising and audience Intelligence company to enhance their security and boost advertising revenues.

Captcha, a security tool used to differentiate between humans and other malicious programs, was until now offered as distorted letters but this is all set to change.

IRCTC accounts for more than 1 million e-commerce transactions per day and more than 100 million captchas are solved on the platform every month and all these will be replaced by NLPCaptcha, a patent pending technology to monetise captchas by Simpli5d Technologies.

Amit Mittal, Founder and CEO at Simpli5d Technologies, said, “This partnership with IRCTC is a huge milestone for us. On an average 125 million captchas are solved on IRCTC every month and this gives us a reach of more than 50 mn unique audience. Effectively we will be reaching out to every person in India who does an online transaction and we are sure that our advertisers would love it.”

“At IRCTC, security and user experience are the most critical concern for us and at the same time we look for new avenues of revenue other than the core business of ticketing. NLPCaptcha fits in beautifully into all this – it provides better security, enhanced user experience and an altogether new stream of advertising revenues for IRCTC. We look forward to a long term and mutually beneficial partnership with Simpli5d Technologies,” explains a senior official from IRCTC.

Simpli5d Technologies is backed by YourNest Angel Fund, Dheeraj Jain of Redcliffe Capital and Udaan Angel Partners.

 

Indian Railways To Launch ‘Innovation Challenge’ For Startups; Allocates Rs 50 Crores

The Indian Railways budget that has been presented in the parliament for 2016-17 has allocated Rs. 50 crore fund for startups. The ministry plans to launch an innovation challenge. It will be administered by an Innovation Committee which will comprise investors, representatives from National Academy of Indian Railways, Railway Board and headed by Ratan Tata.

A management structure will be decided for the initiative. The areas of the challenge will include: Accessibility to trains from low level platforms, increasing capacity of coaches, enabling stations digitally.

The budget has also added many technology enhancements.

Recommended Read : Indian Railways should arrive at Platform Number 1 [Of Org Structure, API, Data Platform]

 Five things IRCTC ticketing site must fix: A geek’s wishlist for IRCTC/Indian Railways]

[source]

Starting Today, You Can Book IRCTC E-Tickets Only Six Times A Month

As against the older system, where IRCTC website would allow passengers to book up to 10 e-tickets a month, from Monday passengers would be allowed a maximum of six tickets to be booked every month.

As per analysis of usage of quota of booking 10 tickets in a month, it was noted that 90% of users were booking up-to six tickets in a month and only 10% were booking more than six. The remaining 10% are believed to have been using this facility for peddling tickets.

Therefore, to prevent such touting activities and enable friendly usage for genuine passengers, IRCTC officials have decided to restrict the number of bookings a month to six.

In past few weeks IRCTC has brought in stringent measures to keep a check on misuse of ticketing system and provide convenient system to genuine users, some of them being:

  • Individuals are allowed to book only two tickets per user-id in a day for Tatkal booking from 10 am to 12 noon.
  • Quick Book option also remains disabled from 8 am to 12 noon.

All ticketing agents have been barred from booking tickets from 8 am to 8.30 am for general bookings, from 10 am to 10.30 am and 11 am to 11.30 am for Tatkal booking in AC and non-AC classes respectively.

Booking is not allowed through e-wallet and cash cards from 8 am to 12 noon.

After Foodpanda, IRCTC Partners With TravelKhana For E-catering

TravelKhana has tied up with Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation or IRCTC. The company’s services will soon be available on the IRCTC’s e-catering website.

Under the arrangement Travelkhana’s listing will be available for travellers using the IRCTC’s e-catering website. Under this arrangement people coming to Travelkhana’s website will also be book their meals online while travelling.

travelkhana

Both the companies are working on integrating the service platforms so that the revenue sharing arrangement works as a part of the recent policy announced by The Railways.

Travelkhana will start its services at the New Delhi & Hazrat Nizammudin railway stations on the E-catering system and has expressed its interest in starting its services on a total of 17 stations in the first phase.

Pushpinder Singh, Co-Founder & CEO, TravelKhana, said, “It is indeed an honour for us to be working with Railways through IRCTC as the partner of choice on their site. We have been working with Railways for a while to come out with a policy that will allow the passengers to be able to avail the service of their choice, rather than be limited and constrained by the licensed food suppliers. The association is a welcome step in this direction. We will continue to work for addressing the needs of the people by on the move by standardizing our services across the spectrum as well as extending our services to include local specialities as well address the needs of other types of travellers including suburban and bus travellers. We look forward to the day when over 1 million people booking their tickets on the IRCTC platform daily will be able to utilize services of Travelkhana along with booking their tickets and make their travel comfortable. ”

IRCTC had earlier tied up with Foodpanda, enabling consumers to order meals through foodpanda app.

 

Train Passengers Can Now Pay For Food Through Paytm Wallet

Paytm has entered into a tie-up with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

Using the Paytm wallet train passengers will now be able to make online payments for food ordered through e-catering. Currently, travelling passengers have payment options for e-catering service as pre-paid (online payment) or Cash on Delivery (CoD).

IRCTC_Logo.svg

IRCTC had earlier partnered with food tech startup Foodpanda and also KFC.

Kiran Vasireddy, Senior Vice-President, Paytm on the announcement said, “We are very happy to be associated with IRCTC in all their platforms. Our earlier association for purchasing tickets through Paytm wallet had a phenomenal uptake and growth. We aim to give the customers a great travel experience as they buy tickets and order food through Irctc’s e-ticketig & e-catering platform using Paytm wallet.”

Earlier this year, Paytm and IRCTC had entered an agreement to make payments for booking train tickets online. Currently, IRCTC has an e-catering facility in 1,516 trains without pantry cars and provides station-based ‘Food On Track’ facility at 45 stations.

 

MobiKwik Users Can Now Book Railway Tickets Using The Mobile Wallet

MobiKwik wallet users can now book railway tickets on IRCTC Connect Android App.

With approximately 25,000 to 30,000 tickets booked daily via IRCTC Android app, MobiKwik expects to spike the per day online ticket sales. IRCTC crossed online sales worth $3 billion for the year ending in March 2015.

The MobiKwik mobile payment solution will allow instant one-tap payments for ticket and also plans to extend this on IRCTC’s other digital platforms.

MobiKwik

MobiKwik Founder and CEO Bipin Preet Singh said, “Now that MobiKwik is integrated with the IRCTC Connect app, users can experience ‘super-fast, express’ payments and book all their rail tickets in a flash. MobiKwik wallet offering utmost ease and security in transactions, is bound to spike pan India booking of rail tickets via IRCTC mobile app. Thus, partnering with IRCTC, which drives the largest number of digital transactions in the country, we give a thrust to the government’s mandate of boosting wider adoption of digital money in India.”

Other popular brands currently using MobiKwik’s services include Uber, Meru Cabs, Big Bazaar, OYO Rooms, Zomato, Café Coffee Day, PVR, etc.

IRCTC Revenue : 2X Of Flipkart; Records A Profit of Rs 130 Crores

Between all the startup funding and app-only buzz, IRCTC has registered a revenue of Rs 20,000 crores and a profit of Rs 130 crores.IRCTC_Logo.svg

A significant growth of 34 percent from past year; Indian Railway Catering and Touring Corp has sold tickets worth Rs 20,620 crore (~$3 Bn)

“Bulk of the sales may be attributed to IRCTC’s rapid growth in e-ticketing which has been due to its interface and setting up of a very robust process. Capacity enhancement was done to book 7,200 tickets per minute as against 2,000 tickets per minute in the existing system,” said Sandip Dutta, public relations manager at IRCTC, which set a record in April when it booked 13.4 lakh etickets on a single day. [source]

IRCTC Revenue

IRCTC’s combined earning from commissions on ticketing, tourism and travel was Rs 670 crore, a little higher than Flipkart’s revenue of Rs 659 crore earned from commissions.

For raiways, online ticketing accounts for 55% of the overall booking. IRCTC too tried its hands on ecommerce (which shutdown) and recently partnered with Amazon to restart its ecommerce focus.

Read : Indian Railways should arrive at Platform Number 1 [Of Org Structure, API, Data Platform]