You patiently enter all the passenger details, select your payment option, go to your bank’s website and authorize payment and unfortunately, it all ends there. It doesn’t redirect back to IRCTC website at all (or doesn’t redirect in time); which is needed to confirm your booking. Even worse, your bank debits money but your tickets are not confirmed by IRCTC. All you can do is start from the beginning. And just imagine if this occurs while booking a tatkal ticket; you can rest assure that the few remaining tickets will be already booked while you go through the process once again. And its not just for you; the problem occurs for a good 10% of transactions that take place through IRCTC’s current payment gateways.
It’s just, TERRIBLE.
So how do you solve the problem?
Simple; remove the need to go external websites to make the payment.
That’s what IRCTC will do soon. It will introduce something called as ‘Rolling Deposit Scheme (RDS)’, commonly known as e-wallet. You prepay (or top-up) your IRCTC account with (sufficient) money so that you can use this account to pay for your tickets without ever leaving the IRCTC website. The transaction time is significantly reduced and there are also no service charges, often levied by the banks’ or payment gateways.
You can top-up your IRCTC account with a minimum amount of Rs.1500. Unused amount will keep rolling over. We are informed that the registration fee for RDS is Rs.250, which can be redeemed while making your first booking. If there is any unused amount after you book your tickets, you can let it remain in your IRCTC account or ask for it to be transferred back into your account from which the IRCTC account was funded. We do not yet know if these transfers carry any charges but we can only hope that they do not.
Tip: It makes sense (especially if you are booking a tatkal ticket) that you top-up your RDS account well ahead of the planned booking, since you will still have to visit your banks’ site to add money to RDS account.
Update: This plan was initially announced in August of 2012. Its almost a year now and yet we don’t see any signs of it being implemented. It’s such a good payment idea and its so sad that it needs so many permissions from so many people to come into effect.