Our government is rapidly going digital and with mobile penetration and increasing number of smartphone users in India, it is easier than ever to do things online or through our phones. The catch is that most people don’t really know that you can do all this so easily – and that’s why we’re trying to help our readers find out about the various government services that are now online, and showing you how to use them.
This week, we will see how to book train tickets from IRCTC through SMS. The IRCTC website of Indian Railways is a source of frustration for so many people that no one blinks when the site doesn’t work properly, though the recent updates have improved things a bit. If you are trying to book tickets on the website but find that the portal is down or your internet is down, you can easily book tickets offline. No, we do not mean that you have to go to the nearest railway station to book the ticket, but you have to book the ticket through SMS. Booking via text message is hassle free, but know that your carrier will charge you for every SMS you send. We were charged Rs. 3 per SMS when we tried to book tickets through SMS but it is a small price to pay for the convenience. Here’s how to do it.
First of all you need an IRCTC account. you can make it Here, Make sure that the phone number you register with IRCTC matches your bank’s phone number, otherwise it will not work.
You also need to check whether your bank supports IMPS (Immediate Payment Service). If you have an ICICI Bank account then you do not need IMPS, and can proceed to step 8. You can check whether your bank supports IMPS or not Here, You will need IMPS to authorize payment through SMS.
If your bank supports IMPS (almost all banks do), you need to call them to generate the MMID or do it on the bank’s website. This process varies by bank, so we suggest you check it with your bank. As an example, the process of HDFC Bank is described Here,
Note down the MMID and One-Time Password (OTP) sent by the bank.
Now you are ready to book your ticket. you need to send a text message 139, The format of the message should be *book *,
You can book tickets for a maximum of six passengers per ticket. For example, read our SMS Book 12951 BCT NDLS 2201 2A AJAY 35 M VIJAYA 38 F,
You will get an SMS from IRCTC with the transaction ID, fare and availability. To make payment, SMS Payment IMPS IRCTC User ID up to 139
ICICI Bank customers can book tickets without IMPS. they can send an sms 139 using this format Book ICICI,
SMS to make payment from your ICICI Bank account *Pay ICICI*,
If your ticket is booked then now you will get a confirmation message from IRCTC. Make sure that this SMS is in your phone while boarding the train. Now you do not need to print the e-ticket and you can just show this SMS and a photo ID to the TTE to start the journey.
Have you tried booking tickets through SMS? What has been your experience? Let us know through comment. For more tutorials, visit our How To section.
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