Yay! IRCTC Abolishes Service Fee on Online Train Ticket Bookings!
Update: It seems there is a confusion on the source of transaction, while booking an Indian Railway ticket. As per some reports, Indian Railways have waived off Rs 30 service charge which was earlier charged for booking a ticket at Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counter using debit/credit cards.
As some readers pointed out, service charge is still being levied for online tickets. We will update as we receive official notification from Indian Railways
PM Modi’s Digital India vision is now spreading to all Govt. departments; and the latest to get smitten by it’s charm is Indian Railways.
In a move to promote cashless economy, Indian Railways has decided to waive off service fee from all type of online bookings, effective June 1st. Hence, if you use your debit/credit card or Internet Banking to book any train ticket (including Tatkal), there won’t be any service fee of Rs 30, which is normally levied for using IRCTC’s website for booking tickets.
This is a significant decision for encouraging cashless transactions, all over India. There are several passengers who enquire about seat availability online, but book their tickets by visiting at the counter, to avoid this service fee of Rs 30. But from now, such type of passengers shall use IRCTC’s platform to enquire as well as book the tickets.
Indian Govt.’s Cashless Push
Since last one year, Indian Government has announced several plans and schemes, meant for pushing and encouraging cashless transactions.
In February this year, Govt. removed surcharge, service charge and all types of additional fees for digital payments. Considering the fact cash transactions cost India’s GDP a whooping 5-7% as the cost amounting to maintenance is going up every year, Govt. is trying to lure one and all into the gambit of cashless transactions.
Last year, India Govt. shocked everyone when they announced all Govt. transactions above Rs 1000 would be digital, by rule. This was seen as one of the biggest push for cashless payments ever witnessed in India.
Startups Promoting Cashless Transactions
And, startups specializing in mobile wallets are anyways promoting and encouraging cashless transactions, which is perfectly in-sync with Government’s push for the same.
FreeCharge is enabling P2P payments using their app in 5 seconds; while MobiKwik is transforming rural India with cashless initiatives. Ola and Oyo Rooms have partnered for cashless transactions for paying for hotel rooms and cabs; while ICICI Bank is enabling NFC based cashless payments using mobile.
The revolution of cashless and digital payments have actually begun, as last year in December, for the first time in history, digital payments surpassed paper-based transactions in India.
With Indian Railways removing any service fee for digital payments, we may soon witness a new surge in cashless payments in India.