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Spending hours scrolling travel websites for train booking may soon be passe, with a leading Indian bank now offering booking services via SMS service.

ICICI Bank, India's largest private sector bank, today launched SMS-based rail ticket booking services, in partnership with IRCTC and Bharat BPO Services Limited, a Spice Digital group company, a statement from the bank said.

The user will only need to send the details of the tickets he wants to book in a particular format and the fare will be deducted directly from his account.

The subscriber will first have to send an SMS from his registered mobile number to 139 in the following format: BOOK <TrainNo> <FromCity> <ToCity> <TravelDate(DDMM)> <Class> <Passenger1- Name> <Age> <Gender> <Passenger2-Name> <Age> <Gender> (upto 6 passengers) ICICI. For example: BOOK 22105 KYN PUNE 3008 2S Rakesh 55 M ICICI

The user will then receive a text with the following details: transaction ID; ticket amount; IRCTC service charge; total amount, and seat availability.

After receiving this SMS, the subscriber will have to send another SMS to 139 for making the payment, in the following format: PAY <Transaction ID as received> <ICICI> <last 6 digits of your ICICI Bank account number> <IRCTC UserID>

Once the payment is processed, a final confirmation will be sent to the subscriber.

Announcing the service, Rajiv Sabharwal, executive director, ICICI Bank, said: "This service...provides a convenient way to book rail tickets without using internet. We are happy to have partnered with Bharat BPO for this service."

"This innovative service will make rail ticket booking easy for customers as they can book tickets from anywhere. This is the real edge of mobility that will touch new dimensions in mobile usage." Said Jatinder Verma, chief executive, Bharat BPO Services.

Story first published on: August 13, 2013 13:24 (IST)

Tags: ICICI Bank, IRCTC, train ticket

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