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In a bid to push the Digital India initiative the Indian government has digitalized the toll collection on all national highways, through the implementation of FASTag mandatory from December 1, 2019.
The digital system is developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and it is based on the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) program. The main objective of this move is to decongest highways and promote transparency via digital payments. Let’s have a closer look at the whole program and how this would affect your lives.
FASTags are electronic tags that work on the principle of RFID that enables cashless payments at toll without stopping the vehicle or waiting in the queue. The FASTag is attached to a vehicle’s windscreen which is read by FASTag readers present at toll plaza. The FASTag reader automatically detects the tagged vehicle and deducts the appropriate amount from the linked account, all this happens while the vehicle is still in motion. The account holder gets notification about the toll deduction via an SMS sent on his/her mobile number.
The government has made mandatory for all four-wheeler passenger vehicles including buses, trucks, tractors and construction machineries to pay toll via FASTag. This implies that from December 1, all toll plazas will collect toll via FASTag on all its lanes, except for one lane reserved for collection via cash mode.
Apart from the decongestion on roads, the benefit for the motorists paying toll through FASTag at any national highway is that he/she will get a 2.5% cashback till March 31, 2020.
FASTags are being distributed from 28,500 point-of-sale locations owned by various banks and IHMCL/NHAI that includes all NH fee plazas, RTOs, Common Service Centers, transport hubs, bank branches, selected petrol pumps and many other places. You can also purchase FASTag online on Amazon and from websites of various banks such as, SBI, ICICI bank, Axis bank, Paytm Payment Banks, HDFC bank, IDFC First bank.
To buy FASTags, one need to submit documents like -- Registration Certificate (RC) of the vehicle, passport-size photograph of the vehicle owner and KYC documents of the vehicle owner.
After buying the tag, login in to FASTag portal with user ID or wallet ID and password after which you will see the option of 'payment and topup'. Now, click on 'Recharge' and then select the wallet id where you want to add money. You can add up to Rs. 1 Lac if you have completed the full KYC, otherwise the limit stands at Rs.10,000.