Railways issues guidelines for Online Payment System for Freight Charges

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Tremendous progress in information and communication technology has now made it feasible to introduce an Online Payment System through the web that is expected to make the process of paying all types of charges including freight and ancillary charges simpler, convenient, speedier and transparent. This can be done by enabling on the web an option for the payment of various charges accrued to the customer.

  • Towards this direction the Ministry of Railways on 30th April 2021 issued guidelines for Online Payment System for Freight Charges. 
  • This Online Payment System will be provided through Freight Business Development (FBD) portal via SBI’s payment gateway. 
  • It will provide the facility for collection of freight and all kinds of ancillary charges e.g. Premium Charge (in case of premium indent), Wagon Registration Fee, Demurrage, Wharfage, Siding Charge, Shunting Charge, Rebooking Charge, Diversion Charge, etc. 
  • Online Payment System through FBD shall be available 24×7.
  •  These guidelines will be implemented from 01.06.2021.

Guidelines issued by Ministry of Railways for the Online Payment System for Freight Charges includes following key features:

Online Payment System:

  • Online Payment System will be provided through Freight Business Development (FBD) portal via SBI’s payment gateway. 
  • It will provide the facility for collection of freight and all kinds of ancillary charges e.g. Premium Charge (in case of premium indent), Wagon Registration Fee, Demurrage, Wharfage, Siding Charge, Shunting Charge, Rebooking Charge, Diversion Charge, etc.
  • Online Payment System through FBD shall be available 24×7.
  • Customer/Secondary Customer willing to avail the facility shall be required to register themselves on the FBD portal as per the procedure laid down for Registration under Electronic registration of demand (e-RD) policy.
  • Consignor/Consignee will be referred as Customer and Endorsee/Handling Agent will be referred as Secondary Customer. 
  • Customers already registered in e-RD need not to register again for this facility.
  • Customer will be able to register his Endorsee/Handling Agent as Secondary Customer and indicate the name of charges (like Freight, Premium Charge in case of premium indent, Wagon Registration Fee, Demurrage, Wharfage, Siding Charge, Shunting Charge etc.) which will be paid by such Secondary Customer, on behalf of the Customer. However, as per extant guidelines, the liability for payment of Railway dues lies with the Customer (Consignor/Consignee) and shall be responsible for all payments.
  • Online payment shall be available through all modes like Net Banking/RTGS/NEFT, Credit card/Debit card/UPI through customer’s Dash Board at the TMS location.

Goods Clerk Dashboard:

For E-Registered Customers:

  • A dashboard will be made available to Goods Clerk. On logging-in with his user ID, Goods Clerk will be able to see details of all registered Customer and Secondary Customer, including their code and GSTIN number etc.
  • On the dashboard Goods Clerk will see Freight Charges, Premium Charge (in case of premium indent), Wagon Registration Fee calculated through the FOIS/TMS and will feed Siding Charge, Shunting Charge, Wharfage, Demurrage (if calculated manually), Rebooking Charge, Diversion Charge etc. for the customer.
  • The system shall raise charges against the Customer and the Secondary Customer (for which he is registered and authorized by the Customer to make payments).
  • Once the payments have been made through the Online Payment System, the same shall be reflected on Goods Clerk’s dashboard. 
  • After confirmation of payment, the system shall show paid against the head on the Goods Clerk dashboard and the system shall update the collection details.
  • Once the payment is confirmed Railway Receipt/Money Receipt/GST Invoice, as the case may be, can be generated by Goods Clerk.
  • Once the Online Payment has been done, the system shall also generate Payment Confirmation Slip against each payment for the record of Goods Clerk.
  • The details as fed in the system shall be picked up directly in the Balance Sheet.
  • In case any Customer or Secondary Customer, despite being e-registered, is willing to make payment directly to the goods clerk in draft/cheque/cash, the goods clerk can take the payment and will have the facility to punch the same in the dash board with indication of receipt of payment at the terminal itself. 
  • In such cases, Railway Receipt/Money Receipt/GST Invoice can be generated by Goods Clerk as per extant guidelines.

For Non E-Registered Customers:

  • In case of non-e registered customer, the Goods Clerk shall be given the option to feed the details of the customer and identify the indent number of the same while registering demand. 
  • Accordingly, Wagon Registration Fee, Premium Charge in case of premium indent and Freight charges shall be calculated through the FOIS/TMS and Goods Clerk will feed Siding Charge, Shunting Charge, Wharfage, Demurrage (if calculated manually), Rebooking charge, Diversion Charge etc of such customer. 
  • In such cases, Railway Receipt/Money Receipt/GST Invoice can be generated by Goods Clerk as per extant guidelines.
  • The details as given above and as fed in the system shall be picked up directly in the balance sheet.

Registered Customer’s Dashboard:

  • Customer/Secondary Customer will receive a text message on his registered- mobile number and email ID regarding payment of due charges.
  • Payment of railway dues shall be made as per extant guidelines and late payment charge, if applicable, shall be levied accordingly.
  • Customer/Secondary Customer will log-in to Online Payment System through FBD portal by their User ID & Password.
  • The charges as raised to Customer/Secondary Customer shall be visible in the account of Customer/Secondary Customer, as the case may be.
  • Customer will be able to make payment of all charges including payment for such charges which he has entrusted to the Secondary Customer.
  • Secondary Customers will be able to make payment of such charges for which he is authorized by the Customer.
  • Customers shall be allowed to select and pay the charges individually against each head. 
  • The Customer shall select the individual charge and will be provided the details for proceeding towards payment.
  • System shall redirect the Customer to the Payment Gateway Page for selecting and authorizing the payments through the various modes available.
  • Once the Customer made the payment after authorization and on successful payment, the Customer shall be redirected back to the payment application and the system shall update the payment details in the FOIS/TMS application and he/she can proceed with other payments.
  • Once the payment has been made successful, the same shall be indicated on the dashboard of the customer.
  • In case of successful payment by Secondary Customer, the same shall be shown paid in the dashboard of Customer also.
  • Railway Receipt/Money Receipt and associated GST Invoice shall be generated and shared with the Customer on the application as well as on the registered e-Mail as a PDF file, as per extant guidelines.
  • There should be provision in the system wherein customers can highlight problems/issues being encountered by them and it shall be resolved by Zonal Railways/CRIS/FOIS in a time bound manner.

In case of Exigency:

  • In case of any exigency wherein after successful payment and money deduction from the Customer’s bank account and collection not reflected in FOIS/TMS, the Customer shall retry the payment.
  • On retry, the system shall first enquire the previous transaction status from the Payment Gateway before proceeding.
  • In case the previous transaction was successful, the system shall update the successful transaction status of the said transaction and Railway Receipt/Money Receipt/GST Invoice shall be generated without further proceeding for payment.
  • In case the previous transaction was not successful, the system shall proceed with the fresh collection transaction.
  • After reconciliation, if any transaction reported failed in FOIS/TMS system but amount has been debited from customer’s account then refund of transaction amount shall be processed by system itself.
  • In case customer/secondary customer is not able to pay through the Online Payment System or is not in a position/ willing to pay through online payment system in case of any exigency, he/she can pay through draft/cheque/cash as the case may be at the terminal also.

Process for online Refund:

Online refund will be made by the Bank from the payments received by Bank through online system in following cases:-

  • Refund of WRF: For refunds of WRF collected Online, FOIS will generate a refund file as per policy of WRF refund and send the same to SBI for arranging payment to the party (as is done in case of refunds of PRS/UTS tickets booked through UPI). The refund list so executed is treated as a refund voucher by the originating station concerned. The refund voucher will be part of the Balance Sheet which Traffic Accounts office can access through an online Balance Sheet submitted in FOIS.
  • Refund of freight on account of diversion to a shorter distance due to operational reasons: In case of shorter distance delivery on diversion on Railway account for which payment has been made online, the refund will be initiated by FOIS on generation of Supersession RR. FOIS will generate a refund file and send the same to SBI for arranging payment to the party (as is done in case of refunds of PRS/UTS tickets booked through UPI).The refund list so executed is treated as refund voucher by the originating station concerned. The refund voucher will be part of the Balance Sheet which Traffic Accounts office can access through an online Balance Sheet submitted in FOIS.
  • Refund of Demurrage & Wharfage: For refunds of Demurrage & Wharfage collected through Online Payment System, Goods Clerk will generate a payment order on basis of the waiver granted by competent authority and capture the authority details i.e. authority no. and date in FOIS. FOIS on the basis of the payment order will generate a refund file and send the same to SBI for arranging payment to the party (as is done in case of refunds of PRS/UTS tickets booked through UPI). The refund list so executed is treated as a refund voucher by the station concerned. The refund voucher will be part of the Balance Sheet which the Traffic Accounts office can access through an online Balance Sheet submitted in FOIS.

Process for Reconciliation:

  • Reconciliation shall be done by the system itself.
  • On T+1 i.e. next day of transaction (collection and refund), Payment Gateway Provider shall provide a report to FOIS/TMS system containing list of successful transactions.
  • Based on the payment settlement successful status report received from Payment Gateway Provider, FOIS/TMS shall generate a list of successful transactions in form of a Query/Report in the application.
  • The Query/Report in form of exception report shall be generated for reconciliation purpose.
  • In case of any discrepancy found after reconciliation, like double debit or payment deducted from customer’s account but not settled in FOIS/TMS system, Zonal Railway shall refund the transaction amount to the customer following due procedure.

It may please be noted that Presently, Electronic Payment System is in place for collection of freight wherein all major and regular customers are covered. However, occasional customers use to make payment of freight through conventional mode. Further, payment of ancillary charges (e.g Wagon Registration Fee, Demurrage, Wharfage, Siding Charge, Shunting Charge etc) is done through conventional mode.


Source: PIB-Press Release | Image Credit (representational): MoR

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