Despite the government orders to activate FASTag, many a people are still paying cash in toll plazas. But from coming 15, people will have to shift to FASTag for a peaceful road trip. Government also stresses on FASTag as it avoids cash transactions and thereby reducing chances of getting infected. Since last year government has been pushing people to do this. Later it had to extend deadline. The FASTag payments option is enabled at more than 720 toll plazas on national highways across the country. It is being issued by multiple banks, including HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank, Paytm Payments Bank and IDFC First Bank etc.
We have been talking about FASTag. But what is it exactly? One of the reasons why people continue to pay tolls is this unawareness on FASTags. So then what is it?
The National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) or as we say the’ FASTag’ works with the electronic payments systems. These are developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It uses Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) technology to automatically collect payments without the vehicle having to stop. With this system, there is no need to pay the cash in toll plazas.
FASTag is a sticker. It is attached to the windshield of your car from the inside. RFID enabled via the barcode is linked with the registration details of your vehicle. So as you drive through any toll plaza in India, there will be dedicated lanes that have FASTag readers installed. If your vehicle passes beneath them, the RFID code is detected, processed and the necessary toll amount is deducted from the prepaid balance.
The process is quick and that you don’t have to stop the vehicle. It reduces the rush and waiting times at toll plazas. One can avoid arguments about the exact toll amount. And it reduces pollution and saves fuel.
To buy a FASTag go to any toll plazas across India. Do not forget to carry the identification and vehicle registration documents. If that sounds a little tough, then you have the option to buy one on Amazon.in or approach certain banks, including payments banks, for these FASTags. The class of vehicle you are buying it for and the bank from which you buy will decide the cost of FASTag.
FASTag has a vailidity period of 5 years from the date of issuance. But the recharge for the FASTag account does not have any validity. It can remain active in the wallet for the entire duration of the FASTag validity. Creating a wallet is the first step to recharge. Recharge it using credit or debit cards,internet banking, UPI depending on the options the bank offers. You can also depend on wallet apps such as Paytm and PhonePe for recharging.