Know FASTag – The NextGen Smart Electronic Toll Collection System

NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) has introduced FASTag – a program for Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) on Toll Plazas on National Highways. FASTag is a simple to use electronic toll collection system. FASTag is a refillable tag that allows automatic deduction of toll charges – making it swift to pass the toll plazas. The Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL – a National Highways Authority of India incorporated company) and National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), are executing the FASTag program in cooperation with the Toll Plaza Concessionaires, FASTag Issuer Agencies, and Toll Transaction Acquirer (certified banks).

FASTag

With FASTag, stopping for the cash transaction at toll plaza is now passé. Linked to a prepaid account that is used for deducting the applicable toll amount, the FASTag uses Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. It is affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle after activating the tag account. Touted to be a fitting solution to make the hassle-free trip on national highways a reality, FASTag is currently operational at 180 toll plazas across national and state highways of India.

FASTag, currently, can be bought from official Tag issuers or (22) certified Banks via various channels like Point-of-Sale (POS) at National Highway toll plazas, and even on the e-commerce platform, Amazon. Having a validity of 5 years, after purchasing FASTag, you will need to recharge or top-up it only as required. It offers an almost non-stop movement of vehicles all the way through toll plazas. The convenience of FASTag-enabled cashless payment of toll fee with nation-wide interoperable ETC Services has numerous advantages.

The FASTag benefits are as follows: 1. Saves Fuel and Time. 2. SMS alerts for toll transactions, low balance, etc. 3. Online recharge (via Credit Card / Debit Card / NEFT/ RTGS or Net Banking). 4. No need to carry cash – ease of payment. 5. Web portal for customers. 6. Reduced air pollution. 7. Reduced use of paper. 8. Minimised instances of toll payment hassles. 9. Enhanced highway management via analytics. 10. Toll plaza management made easy. 11. Eased central monitoring.

FASTag adoption was initially voluntary. However, starting 15th December 2019, FASTag adoption is mandatory – it’s applicable to all categories, kinds, makes and types of vehicles. FASTag is useable for as long as they are legible at the toll plaza and are not tinkered. However, it should be noted that using one FASTag is possible only for one vehicle.