The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has declared that from December 1, FASTag will become mandatory for all vehicles, and those running without the FASTag will be charged twice the normal rate at the toll gates.
Launched in 2014, the FASTag pilot project used radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to enable fast and cashless payments at the electronic toll collection (ETC) gates. Consequently, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways made it mandatory for toll lanes in the country to have ETC infrastructure by the end of March this year.
FASTags are prepaid rechargeable tags developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) under the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) program for enabling smoother transactions at toll plazas.
The tag enables automatic deduction of toll charges and lets you pass through the toll plaza without stopping for a cash transaction. It is linked to a prepaid account from which the applicable toll amount is debited.
Once the account is debited, the tag holder receives a confirmation SMS. The issuer also sends a response message to the NETC system, which notifies the acquirer host. The host then notifies the respective toll plaza system.
For a successful transaction, the RFID technology-powered tag needs to be affixed on the vehicle’s windscreen after the tag account is active.
FASTag can be availed online via e-commerce platforms like Amazon. The tag needs to be activated by the users themselves by installing the ‘My FASTag’ app for smartphones. In the app, the users will be required to fill up their vehicle details and link any one of their existing bank accounts.
Paytm is also offering FASTag online for which, front and back photos of your vehicle’s RC would have to be uploaded on the app.
If you link your FASTag to your bank account, there is no need to recharge the tag; only the minimum amount should be present in your bank account. But if you decide to link the FASTag to a prepaid wallet, you will have to keep the wallet balance maintained or else the payment at an ETC gate will fail.
As per reports, all the national highways countrywide will be equipped with 100 percent ETC infrastructure before December 1. So far, more than 80 percent toll plazas on national highways have ETC-facility in all lanes. Also, the toll plazas in the Delhi-National Capital Region have been switched to 100 percent electronic toll collection.