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  IRCTC B2C Scheme for Train Ticketing
  What is B2C e-commerce?
B2C, the acronym for “business-to-consumer,” is a business model based on transactions between a company that sells products or services and individual customers who are the end users of these products. The B2C ecommerce definition suggests the commerce transaction takes place on the internet through a company’s website or mobile app featured using its payment options. Along with websites and mobile apps, new online sales channels like messengers and chatbots are also emerging today.
In case of IRCTC, B2C Scheme means the Scheme in which Firms/Organizations (Principal Service Providers- PSPs) are registered with IRCTC for providing Reserved Rail e-ticketing services to its customers through their respective Website and/or Mobile App. Under B2C scheme IRCTC is exposing its train ticket booking APIs.
Evolution of B2C scheme in IRCTC:
Mrityunjay Tiwari, AGM (IT)/ITC
IRCTC’s intention was to bring more B2C PSPs on board so that the online reserved rail ticketing should be proliferated and customer is benefitted with access to ticketing booking through various platforms as per his/her convenience. Taking into consideration the concerns of both IRCTC as well as those of B2C PSPs, the policy was revamped in 2018. It was felt that there was scope for reduction in Integration Charges by charging Annual Maintenance Charges on per ticket basis with minimum capping and by incorporating various revenue streams for generating additional revenues to the company. Integration and minimum AMC charges had also been reduced to promote Start Ups/MSMEs who are doing good services on technology front and can provide high tech and more user friendly services to B2C users. It was envisaged to create level playing and win– win situation to both IRCTC and B2C PSPs and also to bring parity among B2C PSPs, with overall revenue benefit to IRCTC. Policy changes have been made to make the charging criteria for B2C service providers more rational.
Under this scheme PSPs are required to maintain an RDS (Rolling Deposit Scheme) account with IRCTC and will have to deposit train e-ticket amount in advance for booking reserved e-tickets. Ticket amount is deducted from the RDS account of PSP as soon as the ticket is booked at IRCTC end and as soon as the ticket is cancelled, the RDS account is credited with cancelled amount. Next day PSPs download both ticket booking and refund file from IRCTC dashboard and process it further at their end. PSP will have its own payment system for collecting ticket amount from the customer at their end.
Additional Services under B2C Scheme:
The following are the additional services facilitated to B2C PSPs under this scheme
1. Promotional Activity Category (PAC): There has been a demand from B2C service providers from a very long time to permit them advertising and cross selling of other travel need related products to users clubbing
 IRCTC B2C Scheme was started in year 2009 with mere 4 major OTAs Viz. MakeMy trip, Cleartrip, Yatra & Ngpay. These firms were known as Principal Agents of IRCTC under B2C Scheme. At that time only website of the B2C partners was integrated with IRCTC for reserved rail e-ticketing. The customers booked reserved rail e-tickets through the website of B2C Principal Agent. The number of B2C integrations on IRCTC was not very encouraging and bookings were also low in the beginning.
In 2013, the policy was revised with Integration Charges and Annual Maintenance Charges separately for IRCTC B2C Scheme. These firms are re-named as Principal Service Providers (PSPs). Mobile Apps of B2C PSPs were also allowed for integration of reserved rail e-ticketing service. Although the response from the firms was not very affirmative, but the number of integrations of B2C PSPs had risen to some extent. But this scheme was still not found to be viable for some small firms and Startups/MSMEs, for whom bookings were low and Annual Maintenance Charges are high.

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