We had recently brought the news to you that the government is planning to make FASTag a must for all vehicles plying on the roads in India. To let you know, FASTag is an RFID based sticker that facilitates quick payment of toll at toll gates on highways in India. However, the works for using FASTag for payment of fuel charges are underway and IDFC has become the first bank in India to get the approval for using FASTag as fuel payment. However, this facility will be available with a new version of FASTag, the name for which has yet to be finalised. Nonetheless, there are reports that the internal name being used for this new version is being called the FASTag 2.0.
FASTag is an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag via which the toll paying procedure gets extremely streamlined and hassle free. This also prevents the users from lining up for payment of tolls and in turn makes paying tolls not only an easy process but speeds up things for drivers. An RFID tag is fixed at a suitable location on the windscreen of vehicles and the receiver at the toll booth scans the vehicle for the RFID tag and automatically deducts the toll payment based on the RFID tag. The payment for the toll is done via an account linked with the RFID tag of the vehicle owner. This account can either be a prepaid one or a normal savings account of a bank.
Normally, apart from driving the greatest time spent on road is on fuel pumps and toll gates. Therefore, in a bid to streamline the same and combine the payment system for the two time consumers on the road, the government is working on making the payment of fuel charges via FASTag possible. This move will not only make the life of long haul truckers easier, but will also benefit the general drivers on the road.
The government has already announced that all gates at toll booths barring one will accept only FASTag as payment from December 1. Now this move is one among many initiatives by the government to digitise and make the payment system on highways free of cash. While this is a part of the larger intent of the government to make cashless transactions a norm in the country, the cashless transaction on highway will also end up making highways safer in the longer run.